breastfeeding positions

Breastfeeding Positions That Protect Your Body from Injury

Back pain is common during pregnancy – but can also affect a lot of moms after birth, especially with increase in demands on the body. A good example of an activity that can frequently cause aches and pains after birth is breastfeeding a baby.  By utilizing proper breastfeeding positions and optimal body mechanics, these following tips can help protect your body from injury!

  • Cross-cradle hold: find a comfortable chair with good back support and elbow support (use a nursing pillow to support under your arms); 
    • Bring baby across your chest so that their belly is touching your belly
    • Support baby using your opposite arm to which you are breastfeeding from
    • Ensure that you support the baby’s head, as this helps guide newborns to latch 
  • Cradle hold:
    • Similar to the cross-cradle hold, however you are supporting baby with the same arm as the breast that they are feeding from 
  • Football hold:
    • Ideal after c-section as there is no contact with the abdomen
    • Place baby in the arm that you are nursing from 
    • With baby facing up, support the head in the palm of your hand while supporting the body with your forearm 
  • Sidelying:
    • Also ideal after a c-section 
    • In sidelying, place baby next to you facing your breast
    • Support the head with your upper hand, while guiding baby’s head to the breast with your bottom hand 
    • Once baby has latched, you can relax your bottom hand/arm (and use as support instead) 

Always remember, it’s important to change up breastfeeding positions to avoid back and neck pain and to help avoid any blocked milk ducts. Check out the video below for more tips and tricks for breastfeeding positions and contact us if you have any questions.

Sarah Trottier PT

Sarah Trottier, Physiotherapist has a clinical focus in women’s and pelvic health. She currently lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Disclaimer – Everything shared is for informative purposes only. It is not intended for assessment, diagnosis or treatment purposes. If you feel there needs to be further investigation, please seek out a qualified health care professional for a proper assessment.