15 January 2004

Breastfeeding positions

There is no one position that is better than another. The most important thing is that you need to be as comfortable as possible.

The important aspect to understand with breastfeeding is that mother should be comfortable. There is no one position that is better than another and a different position can be adopted with each feed as mom and baby experiment and get to know one another.

The comfort aspect will depend largely on the type of delivery that mother experienced, thus her comfortable sitting or lying position. The most commonly used position is the “Madonna” position, with mother sitting in a comfortable chair and the baby positioned across her lap.

An adaptation of this is the “football” position which also has mother sitting but the baby is positioned under her arm and lying against the side of mom’s body. Mother can also lie on her side with the baby on his side, facing mother. It is possible for mom to lie on her back with two to three cushions behind her head and allow the baby to lie on his tummy across mom’s tummy. This position is often used when the flow of milk is rather fast for the baby to cope with. The important points to remember is:

  • Mother should be comfortable.
  • Baby should be positioned against mom so that his chin, chest and knees are against mother’s body.
  • Experience as much skin contact as possible between mom and baby.

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Mental health & your work »

How open are you about mental illness in the workplace?

Mental health in the workplace – what you can do to help

If you know that one of your colleagues suffers from a mental illness, would you be able to help them at work? Maligay Govender offers some helpful mental health "first aid" tips.

Sleep & You »

Sleep vs. no sleep Diagnosis of insomnia

6 things that are sabotaging your sleep

Kick these shut-eye killers to the kerb and make your whole life better – overnight.