For a mother who has very large breasts or who has had a cesarean section, the football hold is ideal. This is also a great position for premature or very tiny babies because it gives the mother excellent control over the baby.
Time Required: Until the baby latches properly
- Sitting comfortably with the baby at breast height, tuck the baby's tush in the crook of the arm on the same side as the breast being fed. (The way the baby is held is actually the same as the cross-cradle, but we're feeding from the same breast as the arm that's holding the baby). Again, the mother's forearm should be positioned up the length of the baby's back. The baby's head is supported by her thumb and forefinger, right behind the ears.
- Hold the breast in a "C" shape, with the thumb positioned at the top of the breast and the other fingers underneath supporting the bottom of the breast. Make sure fingers are not too close to the nipple. They should be back against the chest wall.
- Line the baby up so his nose is right at the breast.
- When the baby has latched on, the mother should make sure her shoulders are relaxed.