You're in! See your latest actions or visit profile and dashboard
Account Information
Dashboard
March for Babies Dashboard

  • Preferences
  • Messages
  • Favorites
save print
e-mail

Breastfeeding

Breast milk is the best food for your baby during the first year of life. It helps him grow healthy and strong. Learn as much as you can about breastfeeding before your baby is born. Use these slides to learn how to breastfeed, ways to hold your baby when breastfeeding and holds to breastfeed multiples.

How to breastfeed

Get skin to skin with your baby.

Find a comfortable place to sit with your baby — in a chair, on the couch or on your bed. Sit up or lie back. Lay your baby between your breasts so that your tummies are touching. Skin-to-skin contact helps your baby get comfortable.

Tickle your baby’s lips.

Gently guide your baby so that his nose is close to your nipple. With one hand, support his head. With the other hand, hold your breast and tickle his lip with your nipple.

Get a good latch.

When your baby opens his mouth, bring him to your breast. Bring him to you — don’t lean into him. Your baby should have a good mouthful of your areola (the area around your nipple). This is called latching on.

Hold your baby close. Both his nose and chin should touch your breast. Don’t worry — he can breathe and eat at the same time.

Get a good latch.

(continued)
When your baby has a good latch, you feel his tongue pull your breast deep into his mouth. If you feel his tongue at the tip of your nipple, it’s not a good latch. Latching on is important for your comfort and to help your baby get enough milk.

Remember: it’s called breastfeeding, not nipple feeding!

Burp your baby.

When your baby stops feeding, burp him. Sit him on your lap. Support his chest and head with one hand and pat his back with your other hand. After he burps, offer him the other breast. It’s OK if he doesn’t want it.

Release the latch

If you need to stop nursing, don’t try to pull your baby off your breast. Instead, put your pinky finger in the side of his mouth to release the latch.

Ways to hold your baby

Cradle hold

This hold looks like you’re cradling your baby in your arm. Place your baby across your body so that your tummies are touching. Hold him in the arm of the same side as the breast he’s feeding from — right arm for right breast or left arm for left breast.

Cradle hold

(continued)
His head rests at your elbow, and your forearm and hand support his back and bottom. His head should be free to lean back to allow for a more comfortable latch. You can use your free hand to support your breast while he’s feeding. You may want to use a pillow to help support your baby.
39 Weeks Second Slide

Cross cradle hold

This hold is like the cradle hold except you support your baby in one arm and feed from the opposite breast. Place your baby across your body so that your tummies are touching. Hold him in your right arm to feed from your left breast, or in your left arm to feed from your right breast. Support his head with your hand.

Cross cradle hold

(continued)
His legs and feet straddle your supporting arm at your elbow. You can use your free hand to support your breast while he’s feeding. You may want to use a pillow to help support your baby.

This hold can be good for premature babies (born before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy) or babies who have trouble sucking. It gives your baby extra support under his head and may help him stay latched on.

Football or clutch hold

This hold is called the football hold because you tuck your baby under one arm like a football player carries a football. Hold him in the arm of the same side as the breast he’s feeding from — right arm for right breast or left arm for left breast.

Football or clutch hold

(continued)
Support your baby’s back and head with your forearm and hand. You can use your free hand to support your breast while he’s feeding. You may want to use a pillow to help support your baby.

You may want to use this hold if you’ve had a cesarean birth (also called c-section). This is when your baby is born through a cut your doctor makes in your belly and uterus. This hold lets you keep your baby away from the cut on your belly.

Side-lying hold

This hold is called side-lying because you lie on your side to feed your baby. Lie on the side of the breast he’s feeding from — right side for right breast or left side for left breast.

Place your baby close to you so that your tummies are touching. Support his back with your free hand.

You may want to use this hold if you’ve had a c-section. This hold lets you keep your baby away from the cut on your belly.

Breastfeeding multiples

Yes, you can breastfeed multiples!

If your babies are healthy, you can start breastfeeding them one at a time. This helps each baby learn to latch on. Later you can feed two at once. Have someone help you by holding one baby while you get settled with the other. With practice, you can manage both by yourself.

Double clutch hold

The double clutch hold uses the clutch (football) hold for each baby. This means you’ve got one baby tucked under each arm, like a football player carries a football. The baby in your right arm feeds from your right breast. The baby in your left arm feeds from your left breast.

Support each baby’s back and head with your forearm and hand. You may want to use pillows to help support your babies.

Cradle and clutch hold

This is a combination of the cradle hold and clutch hold. Cradle one baby in one arm, with his head at your elbow and your forearm and hand supporting his back and bottom. Hold the other baby in the clutch (football) hold.

Support each baby with your arms and hands. You may want to use pillows to help support your babies.

See also: How to breastfeed (PDF, 310kb), Ways to hold your baby (PDF, 365kb), Breastfeeding multiples (PDF, 214kb)

Change my location


My ZIP code:
 

Edit my location

Sign in or Sign up to edit location.

[X]