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Breastfeeding Positions

Contact the Florida WIC Program

  •  1-800-342-3556
  •  

    Fax

    850-922-3936
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    Mailing Address

    Bureau of WIC Program Services 

    4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin A16 

    Tallahassee FL 32399 

Here are some positions in which you can hold your baby while breastfeeding. Find a hold that works for you and your baby. Always make sure your baby takes in a good mouthful of breast, especially the underneath part of the darker skin around the nipple (areola). Cradle hold
Cross Cradle or Transitional Hold
Clutch Hold or Football Hold
Side-Lying Hold
Breastfeeding Two Babies
Combination Cradle and Clutch Hold
Double Clutch Hold
What to Avoid

Cradle hold

Woman breastfeeding using the Cradle Hold
This is the most commonly used position. Hold your baby with his or her head on your forearm and with baby’s body facing yours. Make sure the baby’s head, shoulders, and hips are in a straight line and the baby’s whole body should be in contact with yours.

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Cross Cradle or Transitional Hold

Woman breastfeeding using the Cross Cradle Hold
This is good for premature babies or babies who are having problems latching on. Hold your baby along the opposite arm from the breast you are using. Support baby’s head with the palm of your hand at the base of his or her head. Do not touch the back of the baby’s head.

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Clutch Hold or Football Hold

Woman breastfeeding using the Clutch Hold or Football Hold
This is good for mothers who have had a cesarean birth or who have large breasts. Hold baby at your side. The baby is lying on his or her back, with his or her head at the level of your nipple. Support baby’s head with the palm of your hand at the base of the baby’s head.

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Side-Lying Hold

Woman breastfeeding using the Side-Lying Hold
This allows you to rest while baby breastfeeds. This position is also good for mothers who have had a cesarean birth. Lie on your side with baby facing you. Pull baby close and guide the baby’s mouth to your nipple.

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Breastfeeding Two Babies

Positions or breastfeeding two babies at the sametime—yes, you can fully breastfeed twins and even triplets!

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Combination Cradle and Clutch Hold

Woman breastfeeding using the Combination Hold
The mother is sitting up straight. One baby is in the cradle hold. The other baby is in the clutch hold.

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Double Clutch Hold

Woman breastfeeding using the Double Clutch Hold
The mother is sitting up straight. Both babies are in the clutch hold. Some mothers use pillows or folded towels at their sides to support the babies.

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What to Avoid

  • Don’t apply pressure to the back of the baby’s head.
  • Don’t allow baby’s feet to push against a hard surface.
  • Don’t leave open spaces between you and your baby.

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