How to Position Your Baby for Nursing

September 28, 2018

There’s more than one way to position your baby for breastfeeding. Here are some tips on how to place her for the best latch and feeding experience.

Give them a ground to stand on.

Who knew babies prefer to “stand” while nursing? “Babies always seem to nurse better
when their feet are touching something, like your leg, the arm of the chair, or a pillow tucked next to you. It makes them feel more secure,” says Veronica Jacobsen, a lactation counselor in Minnesota.

Get a deep latch.

Position yourselves nose to nipple, belly to belly. “Your baby’s stomach should be touching
yours, so she doesn’t have to turn her head. Point your nipple at her nose, not her mouth, so she’ll lift up her head, open her mouth wide and latch on deeply,” says Jacobsen.

Encourage a mouthful.

For a painless latch, make sure your baby’s mouth is wide open. “If you’re sitting upright,
bring your baby to your breast once his mouth is completely open. Press between his
shoulders firmly to bring him to you, while you support your breast. Your nipple will fill his
mouth. If it hurts after a few sucks, de-latch and reposition,” counsels Jan Ellen Brown,
IBCLC, co-author of 25 Things Every Nursing Mother Needs to Know. Avoid pushing the
back of your baby’s head, which could trigger his instinct to resist and chomp down.

Lie on your side.

Sitting down isn’t the only position for nursing. Try lying on your side, which lets you rest
your shoulders and lower back. Put a pillow between your knees and lay your arm under
your head. Then bring the baby in facing you.

Try a nursing pillow.

Nursing pillows can help give you more of a lap while sitting, bringing the baby closer to your body without effort.