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A baby that breastfeeds effectively cues (shows readiness) for feedings, is in a good feeding position, latches-on (attach) deeply at the breast, and moves milk forward from the breast and into his/her mouth.
Crying is a late feeding cue, and many babies have difficulty latching once they become frustrated and begin to cry.
- cross-cradle - baby's head is supported by the hand opposite the breast to be used for feeding; mother supports breast with hand; baby is rolled in toward mother's body belly-to-belly.
- football/clutch - baby's head is supported by the hand on the same side as breast to be used for feeding; baby's body is supported on a pillow and tucked under the arm on the same side as breast to be used for feeding.
- side-lying using modified cradle - in this position, the baby lies next to the mother with mother's and baby's bodies facing each other. If a pillow under your arm is uncomfortable, try placing your baby in the crook of your arm. This way, you will not be likely to roll over on the baby should you doze off. This position also keeps the baby's head at a good angle to bring baby and breast together, with the baby's head higher than his/her tummy, which can be helpful for babies who are more likely to spit up.
For all positions, bring your baby to the breast - not the breast to the baby - by sitting in a roomy and comfortable chair or sofa and using a bed pillow, sofa cushion, or special breastfeeding pillow on your lap to raise the baby. Your baby must be held in good alignment if he/she is to suck, swallow, and breathe during feedings. When in good alignment, you should be able to draw a straight line down your baby's body from earlobe to hip no matter which feeding position you use. You should not be able to see the baby's arm closest to your body when using a cradle or cross-cradle hold.