holding baby right for breastfeeding

By Associate Professor TAN Thiam Chye Head & Senior Consultant, Dr Michelle LIM Associate Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital

If this isn't your first pregnancy, there's a good chance you already know how to position your baby during breastfeeding. However, if this is your first child, it's perfectly normal to feel a little anxious when holding and breastfeeding for the very first time.

The truth is that there isn't one perfect position to hold your baby during breastfeeding. Instead, doctors are likely to recommend various positions, whichever feels most comfortable to you. Here are a few ideas:

1. Cradle Hold

This position is suitable when the baby is able to latch on easily. Support your baby's head in the crook of your arm (this is the soft, inside part of your arm where you bend your elbow) and hold the buttocks with your hand, with the baby's face and body turned towards you.

Related: Nutritional Advice For Breastfeeding Mums

2. Cross-Cradle Hold

This position is good for newborns and small or premature babies. It's also good for mothers with short or flat nipples. Support the back of the baby's head and shoulder at the nape of the neck with your palm. Also, support the baby's body and buttocks with your forearm.

Related: Breastfeeding As A Working Mother

3. Football Hold

Like the cross-cradle hold, the football hold is good for smaller babies, mothers with large breasts and short or flat nipples, or mothers who have undergone a Caesarean section. Support your baby's head and shoulder at the nape of the neck with your palm, and the baby's body and buttocks with your forearm. Tuck your baby under your arm so that the legs are behind you and the head is at your breast.

Related: Breastfeeding Advice From Experts

4. Lying Down

This position is ideal for mothers after a Caesarean section, forceps delivery or for feeding at night. Lie on your side with a pillow under your head and behind your back with the baby facing you.

4 tips for breastfeeding holds 


Read these next

  • Eating Right for Breastfeeding
  • An Eating Guide for Breastfeeding Mothers
  • Safe Medication During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • Sources:

    The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific; Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore