• The Cradle Hold
This is the first hold many mothers will try, often soon after their babies are born. To start, cradle your baby's head in the crook of your arm with your baby's nose opposite your nipple. Use that hand to support your baby's bottom. Turn your baby on his or her side, so that your baby is belly to belly to you. Then, raise your baby to your breast. You can support your breast with your other hand.
• The Clutch or Football Hold
This is also a good position for the mom who's had a C-section and also for mothers with large breasts or small babies. Mothers with twins who want to feed the babies at the same time may also choose this position.
The football hold allows babies to take milk more easily — which is also good for mothers with a forceful milk ejection reflex (or let down).
To achieve the clutch (or football) hold, place a pillow next to you. Cradle your baby — facing upward — in your arm. Use the palm of your hand on that same arm to support his or her neck, and nestle your baby's side closely against your side. Your baby's feet and legs should be tucked under your arm. Then lift your baby to your breast.
• Breaking the Suction
Most babies will release the breast on their own. If your baby doesn't release your breast but the sucks now seem limited to the front of his or her mouth, you can slip your finger in the side of your baby's mouth (between the gums) and then turn your finger a quarter turn to break the suction. Then, try to burp your baby and switch him or her to the other breast.
If your baby consistently latches on improperly, sucking on your nipple without getting much of your areola in the mouth, you'll probably feel discomfort throughout each feeding. Some moms say it's painful or feels like a pinch as their babies nurse.
Babies who tend to latch on incorrectly will also frequently sleep at the breast and may not seem satisfied because they may not be getting enough. If either of these occurs, break the suction and reposition your baby onto your breast to include the nipple and areola.
• Gently Tickle Baby’s lip with your Nipple
This should open your baby’s mouth very wide, like a yawn. Some lactation consultants suggest aiming your nipple toward your baby’s nose and then directing it down to the upper lip to open the mouth wide. This prevents the lower lip from getting tucked in during nursing. If your baby turns away, gently stroke the cheek on the side nearest you. The rooting reflex will make baby turn back toward your breast.
• Unlatching your Baby
Pulling your breast out of baby’s mouth abruptly can cause injury to your nipple — whether you’re having latching problems and need to re-latch or your baby is finished feeding but is still holding onto the breast. Break the suction first by pressing the breast near the mouth, or by gently inserting your finger into the corner of baby’s mouth.