Arrow backLanguage
EN
Article

Finding the right positions

"It'll come naturally, you'll see!" In reality, it may not prove quite so easy to get yourself and your baby into a good position. Are there any tips for making the most of this precious moment?

1 min
to read Apr 1, 2021

Breastfeeding your baby does require a little "technical" knowledge. Positioning the baby correctly will improve not only the quality of suction and therefore the production of milk, but also your own comfort, sparing you the unpleasantness of painful nipples and back ache. No need to worry, however: this shared learning experience is very simple and only takes a few days. After that, rest assured, it's bliss!

The feed… from A to Z!

 

Just before starting to breastfeed:

  • The most common position is the so-called "Cradle Hold". Position your baby facing you, with the baby's stomach lying against yours. If you are giving the baby your left breast, use your left forearm and hand to support the baby's spine and bottom. Rest your left elbow on an armrest, a pillow or anything offering comfortable support. Use your right hand to hold your left breast and guide it into the baby's mouth. Use your left forearm to support the angle of the baby's head. If the baby's chin is touching your breast and the nose is in line with your nipple, mission accomplished!
  • The "Rugby Ball Hold" is often used in the first few months, following difficult births or during the night.

Position your baby alongside you at waist level, supported by your arm (as you would hold a rugby ball). Support the baby's neck and head with your opposite hand. For breastfeeding in bed (useful at night) lie on your side, this time with your baby facing you, also on its side, with its mouth at the same level as your nipple. Once the baby is securely in place, this position has the added advantage if giving you a free arm!

Other positions are also possible: cross-legged with a cushion on your knees; reclined on a deckchair; in a super-comfy armchair (shoo away the cat!). In other words, don't worry, you will get the hang of it naturally and, as you do, you will use whichever position you feel most comfortable with.

What a mouth my baby has!

When your baby is hungry, they will open their mouthwide and twist and turn in every direction to find your breast, which can be a little frightening for some mothers. There's no need to worry, however; breastfeeding is painless. How does it work?

  • At the start of the feed: the baby's wide open mouth easily fits around the nipple and part of the areola. The baby rolls their tongue under the nipple. If your baby is having difficulty "latching on", pinch your nipple and areola to form a U so that it all enters more easily into the baby's mouth.
  • During the feed: the baby turns out their bottom lip and presses their nose firmly against your breast. You will notice a regular movement of your baby's lower jaw, alternating between sucking, swallowing and breathing. That doesn't seem so bad now, does it?
  • fewer than 5 feeds per day,
  • a dramatic change in the feeding pattern,
  • rare or irregular swallowing,
  • your baby cries all the time or sleeps almost all the time.

 

What about breastfeeding twins?

Either simultaneously or alternately, there's no set rule. It's up to you to choose the best solution for you and your children. If one baby has difficulty latching on, or if you wish to form an individual relationship with each of them, breastfeeding one at a time would seem the most suitable option. Feed the hungriest baby first. If the other is more patient and tends to fall asleep while feeding, feed them last.

Simultaneous breastfeeding is very practical in order to save time and, of course, if both babies are hungry at the same time! In this case, opt for the "Rugby Ball" position, with the babies facing each other. This requires a certain amount of practice but should quickly prove very practical and efficient!

Must stay concentrated!

You can breastfeed while standing, sitting or lying down. The important thing is that you are comfortable. If you are not properly positioned, or if you are having to strain your neck or back, your baby will feel it and may be tempted to cut short the feed into order to relieve you. Therefore, choose a place where your will feel most at ease (a comfortable armchair, sofa, bed, etc.). Always have a cushion or special nursing pillow (which fits around the waist) at hand, a blanket, a telephone (so you won't have to get up) and a bottle of water. Breastfeeding is thirsty work!

Is my baby getting enough milk?

It may be that despite your motivation breastfeeding doesn't work as well as you would have wished. Tell-tale signs include:

  • fewer than 5 feeds per day,
  • a dramatic change in the feeding pattern,
  • rare or irregular swallowing,
  • your baby cries all the time or sleeps almost all the time.

 

Enfin, surveillez sa courbe de poids qui doit être régulière.

One sign which indicates that a feed is going well is if you feel your uterus contract and a hot, tight feeling in the breast being given. There is nothing to fear, the sucking will be painless!

Every woman who breastfeeds experiences a wave of calm at the end of a feed. Your baby is quiet and peaceful. It is as if time stands still: a moment of harmony and togetherness well worth experiencing!

 

Opinion

Pauline, mother of Elliot, 5 months old

"In order to remember which breast I gave him last, I wear a bracelet on the same arm as the breast he just fed from . It's really practical , especially at the beginning when he was feeding every three hours!"

Daphne, mother of Aurore , 4 months old

"The first few times I breastfed in public, people stared. I realised that in fact breastfeeding is not such a natural thing to do after all. Now, I plan ahead! I wear shirts which open at the front and I carefully place a cloth over my shoulder to cover my breast and my baby's head. I go incognito!"

Logo white

Get full access to expert-backed nutrition support

  • My feed

    Curated content based on your preferences 

  • Feeding guidance

    Learn about various feeding options and what each means for you and your baby

  • Tailored Practical Tools

    Try our tailored practical tools to guide you through the parenting journey.

  • My First 1000 Days club

    Customised notifications, reminders and newsletters

Search icon

Still haven't found what you are looking for?

Try our new smart question engine. We'll always have something for you.