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What is Biological Nurturing?

The Laid-Back Nursing Position


Updated June 18, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Immediately after a natural, unmedicated birth, a health newborn can be placed onto his mother's stomach and he will move his body up toward the breast, find the nipple, latch on and begin to nurse all by himself. This is a normal reflex of a newborn. A natural nursing position based on this reflex has been researched and described by Dr. Suzanne Colson. She calls it biological nurturing, or laid-back nursing.

This position is easy to learn, easy to remember and comfortable. Since the baby latches on by himself, you don't have to try to remember how to hold your baby or your breast to achieve a good latch. Biological nurturing allows breastfeeding to happen more naturally and easily for both the mom and her child. There is no right or wrong way to do this technique, but here are the basic guidelines.

  • Lie back in a reclined position on your bed, a sofa or a chair and get comfortable. If you would like, you can use pillows to support your back, neck and arms.

  • Place the baby on your stomach with his belly touching yours and his head up at the level of your breasts.

  • As the baby lies on your chest, gravity will help him keep his position securely on your body.

  • He will then begin to smell and feel his way to your nipple. Once he finds it, he will move his head back and forth, open his mouth wide, latch on and begin to nurse.

  • The baby can do this all by himself, but you will most likely want to get involved. You can hold and support his body, lead him to your breast, touch him or just snuggle with him.

Biological nurturing can be started with the first breastfeeding. This easy, natural position may help prevent sore nipples, and it's a good option for nursing preemies, twins and babies that have trouble breastfeeding.


Colson, Suzanne, Ph.d. Biological Nurturing A Non-Prescriptive Recipe For Breastfeeding. October 2007. Accessed Janurary 25, 2013: http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/

Lawrence, Ruth A., MD, Lawrence, Robert M., MD. Breastfeeding A Guide For The Medical Profession Sixth Edition.  Mosby. Philadelphia. 2005.

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