Making the decision to breastfeed or formula feed is an incredibly personal one. Though you may feel swayed by media, advertisement and second-hand suggestions, deciding to breastfeed should be made only if it is the right fit for you. But speaking of 'fit', there are actually many different positions to do it. Whether you're inspired by a position that your Midwife has shown you, or you simply discover it on your own, every baby and every mother prefers to feed in different ways.
As long as the latch feels good and the milk is-a-flowin', then continue on! Here, we have listed 10 positions to breastfeed your child if you want to try something new, or something improved than the average, every day (and by 'every day' we mean 'every hour') hold. Read ahead for some additional inspiration.
10 THE FOOTBALL HOLD
The football hold is very similar to the casual cradle, however, their sides are touching yours. Just as you hold a foot ball underneath your arm while you're running on the field is how you will be resting your child.
Their feet are pointed toward the back of you and you can comfortably rest while you sit, or while laying down. This hold can be incredibly convenient while your child is young and is trying to latch properly and comfortably.
9 LAYING ON YOUR SIDE
This position will come in handy while you're nursing at night; especially if you're up all throughout the hours of the evening. In the early days of life, this is the best way to introduce this feeding position. Whether it's during their nap time or while you're trying to rest, too, feeling your child while you lay on your side will be much easier than holding them up for the entire duration of their feeding. Laying down is a great introductory position for any child. From infancy to toddlerhood.
8 THE KUALA
The Kuala is exactly what it sounds like: a child hugging their parent while feeding close to their bodies. Whether you are laying down or sitting up, The Kuala is a great way to feed your child for easy access and an easier latch.
The Kuala is also an incredibly comfortable position if your child is older and has good head control. While you sit and post them on your thigh, your child is less likely to flail about and feed well.
7 LAYING ON YOUR BACK
Laying on your back is a great and relaxing way to feed your child. Similarly to laying on your side, if you are on your back your child will likely drape their bodies over yours, positioning their faces either towards yours or towards your feet. This position is much easier for an older child. As they grow bigger, they often want to keep busy with their hands or their legs. Wiggling may be unavoidable, and if you're laying on your back you are free from most of the annoyance that comes along with a busy, feeding baby.
6 STRAIGHT STAND
Depending on your child's strength and age, sometimes you can simply stand your child up on your leg while you feed them. Again, depending on how busy your child is, they may not want to be cradled each time you breastfeed them.
So at times, you have to get creative. By allowing them to stand on your thigh while you're sitting down, they'll have to put pressure on their little legs and will be unable to kick (much) while they're feeding.
5 THE CRADLE
This is the classic: The cradle. The cradle hold is exactly what you think it is: You're simply cradling your child while you breastfeed. It's a classic and an all-time-favorite for many because of its simplicity and convenience. Whether you're wearing a nursing shirt or you're in the nude, breastfeeding your child while cradling them is one of the most comfortable positions. Feeding them while you're sitting. Feed them like this if you're standing. Feeding them in the cradling position if you're laying down. The Cradle is incredibly versatile and a great go-to.
4 HIP HOLD
Between The Kuala and The Football is The Hip Hold. Quite literally, The Hip Hold is the position between the two mentioned previously. You can simply feed your child in this position if you're sitting OR standing; most popularly while standing. Size depending, this Hip Hold is incredibly helpful for a heavier and/or larger child. Often, we hold our child on our hips while multi-tasking. But, you can also breastfeed in this position, too. Whether you are wearing a nursing shirt or you're 'free as a bird', The Hip Hold is a great way to breastfeed when you need your second hand.
3 CROSS LEGGED
If you decide to breastfeed, which is an incredibly personal choice to make and no one's other than your own, you will find yourself sitting quite often. Partly because of its convenience but mostly because you're exhausted and feeding quite frequently, especially in the early days. By crossing your legs, you will be able to position your child's latch easier. You will also ensure the child has a good 'platform' to sit their little booty down for comfort and ease.
2 HEAD TO TOES
The Head-to-Toes position is a great position to breastfeed while you're laying down. Whether this is the sixth time you've been up in the night and have to take it back to your bedroom, or you're simply feeding during the day, breasting in The Head-to-Toes position is unique and fun. Also, you may be having trouble with your child's latch for the first little while. At that point, the breastfeeding parent will want to try any position they can to perfect the latch. If this specific position works, run with it! And by 'run' we mean 'feed'.
1 FLOOR AND CHAIR
While standing on the floor, you can simply prop your child on a chair next to your hip while you feed them. This, of course, is for the child who is able to stand with little support. As your body to be their stable prop, The Floor and Chair position is a great position to partake in if you're writing an email, watching a show or preparing a quick snack. Frankly, motherhood is another work for multi-tasking. And if you're standing at the kitchen counter trying to send that last message to your boss while breastfeeding your child, this position may come in handy.