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Breastfeeding Positions

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Lying down on side position
Helps a mother to rest. Comfortable after a caesarean section.
Take care that the baby’s nose is on a level with mother’s nipple, and that baby does not need to bend his or her neck to reach the breast.
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Cradle position
The baby’s lower arm is tucked around the mother’s side. Not between the baby’s chest and the mother.
Take care that the baby’s head is not too far into the crook of the mother’s arm that the breast is pulled to one side making it difficult to stay attached.
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Cross arm position
Useful for small or ill baby. Mother has good control of baby’s head and body, so may be useful when learning to breastfeed.
Take care that the baby’s head is not held too tightly preventing movement.
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Underarm position
Useful for twins or to help to drain all areas of the breast. Gives the mother a good view of the attachment.
Take care that baby is not bending his or her neck forcing the chin down to the chest.

Adapted from Breastfeeding Counselling: a training course, WHO/CHD/93.4, UNICEF/NUT/93.2


Cover of Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative
Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative: Revised, Updated and Expanded for Integrated Care.
Copyright © 2009, World Health Organization and UNICEF.

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