In the optimum position, the baby’s head and the breast are properly aligned, allowing the baby to suckle easily, and helping the mother not to get tired.

  • The baby’s neck should not be bent, and the ears, shoulders, and hips should be in a straight line.
  • The baby’s body should be supported.
  • The baby should be held close to the mother, with their tummies facing each other.
  • The baby should face the nipple with the nose at the level of the areola.

Different breastfeeding positions

Side-Lying Breastfeeding

  •   It is especially useful in the first few days after cesarean delivery. It can, however, be tried at any time because it is a relaxing position for both the mother and the baby.
  •  The mother should keep her arm out to reduce the risk of her pressing on the baby.
  • The baby should not lie on the mother’s arm.
  • The baby’s nose should be level with the areola.
  • The mother and baby’s backs may be supported with blankets and pillows.

Crossover hold with the opposite arm

  • It’s often helpful for small babies with grasping problems.
  • The mother holds the breast with her hand on the nursing side. The other hand grasps the baby’s head and brings it together with the breast. The mother can easily see both the nipple and the baby opening their mouth. This will help the baby grasp the breast and the mother supports the baby’s head.
  • Putting a cushion/pillow on the knee makes it easier to control the baby.
  • The baby’s head should not be too much pressed against the breast and the baby’s head movements should not be restricted.

Football Hold

  • It is useful for twins or for emptying the entire breast.
  • It may be suitable for cesarean delivery because it will minimize pain.
  • A pillow/cushion may be used to support the baby’s body towards the armpit.
  • It is also useful for controlling hyperactive babies during nursing.

Cradle Hold

  •  The baby’s lower arm should “hug” the mother rather than stay between their body and the mother.
  • The mother’s palm should be gripping the baby’s hip, and the baby should be lying on the mother’s arm.
  • It should not be only the head but the body of the baby, which should be supported. The tummies of the mother and the baby should be facing each other.
  • The head should remain in the elbow triangle, facing the breast. The head should not be dropping into the space in the triangle. The mother’s arm may be supported with a cushion/pillow.
  • The baby should be placed with their nose level with the areola.


  1. Türkyılmaz, C. (2016). Emzirme danışmanlığı ve emzirmede karşılaşılan sorunlar. Klinik Tıp Pediatri Dergisi8(2), 19-33.

4 Key Points for Positioning the Baby Properly on the Breast

If a baby is positioned properly on the breast, the following must be observed:

  • The mouth of the baby should be wide open.
  • The lower lip should be curled out.
  • The chin of the baby should touch the breast and the areola should be less visible in the lower part of the mouth.

How Can One Tell If the Baby Is Nutritive Sucking?

Nutritive sucking is enabled when the baby is placed properly on the breast. During nutritive sucking, babies perform slow, deep sucking movements; one or 2 to 3 sucking movements are followed by swallowing; the baby’s cheeks are rounded; the baby is calm throughout nursing, and the baby lets go of the breast on their own. In addition, in nutritive breastfeeding with the baby in a proper position, the mother does not feel pain in the breast; the nipple is turned outward after breastfeeding, and the mother’s breast is emptied.


  1. Altın, R. D. (2017). Başarılı bir emzirme nasıl olmalı?. Türk Dünyası Uygulama ve Araştırma Merkezi Yenidoğan Dergisi2(2), 342-360.