Breastfeeding Positions

Generic C-IYCF Package (UNICEF | 2011)
Breastfeeding Positions

Key Messages

  • Good positioning helps to ensure that your baby suckles well and helps you to produce a good supply of breast milk.
  • The four key points about your baby’s position are: straight, facing the breast, close, and supported:
    • The baby’s body should be straight, not bent or twisted, but with the head slightly back.
    • The baby’s body should be facing the breast, not held flat to your chest or stomach, and he or she should be able to look up into your face.
    • The baby should be close to you.
    • You should support the baby’s whole body, not just the neck and shoulders, with your hand and arm.
  • There are different ways to position your baby:
    • Cradle position (most commonly used)
    • Cross cradle position (good for small babies)
    • Side-lying position (use to rest while breastfeeding and at night)
    • Under-arm position (use after caesarean section, if your nipples are painful or if you are breastfeeding twins or a small baby)

Note for community worker: If an older baby is well-attached and suckling well, there is no need to change position.