newborn Archives - Lactation Link

Breastfeeding Positions: Pros and Cons via lactationlink.com

Pros & Cons for Each Breastfeeding Position

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips

Hi mamas! I’m Kristin Gourley, IBCLC. I’m a mom to 5 and lactation consultant with Lactation Link. I’m here today to talk about the pros and cons for various breastfeeding positions. Enjoy!

In general, any position is just fine as long as mom is comfortable and baby is able to get....

In many breastfeeding pictures you come across on social media or in other places, you may notice that lots of moms feed in a cradle or cross-cradle position.  In fact, many hospital nurses are only familiar with cradle positions!  

Our in-person and video classes, however, go over many different breastfeeding positions commonly used for breastfeeding.  It can be great to have all these different tools in your toolbox for when baby is tired, distracted, you need to rest, your nipples are sore, or baby is having trouble latching.

What are the positions?

Check out our classes for detailed information and video how-to’s, but some great breastfeeding positions are:

  • Cradle & cross cradle
  • Football
  • Laid back / Biological Nurturing
  • Side lying

As baby gets older and more acrobatic in his nursing, you may notice that you experience some very creative and non-traditional breastfeeding positions!  In general, any position is just fine as long as mom is comfortable and baby is able to get all the milk he needs.

Breastfeeding Positions: Pros and Cons via lactationlink.com

Which breastfeeding positions should I use?

The answer to what position you should use is just like the answer to so many breastfeeding questions- it depends!  Baby’s age and size, your breast size and shape, the type of birth you had and how you’re recovering, and many other things can influence what position you’ll find most comfortable for you and your baby.  

I’m going to go over the most common breastfeeding positions and give some pros and cons to them to help you decide what might be best for you.  Remember that sometimes you don’t know if you’ll like it until you try!

Pros & Cons to Breastfeeding Positions

Cradle & cross cradle

  • The most common positions and your nurse at the hospital is probably familiar with them and can help you adjust some
  • When latching baby with the cross-cradle, you can help steady his head and bring him gently and quickly to your breast when he opens wide.  Sometimes moms can be nervous and this position can help them feel more in control!
  • Many moms find cradling baby’s head in their forearm/elbow to feel comfortable and natural, and leaves their other arm to do something else (hold a remote or reach for that snack!)
  • Many nursing pillows are designed for the cradle positions and can help raise baby higher without too much strain from mom, and can help position baby tummy-to-tummy with mom.
  • When nursing in public, this position covers your postpartum tummy with baby’s body!
  • Many moms use this position successfully from baby’s birth day until weaning day, no matter how old baby is when that happens!
Breastfeeding Positions: Pros and Cons via lactationlink.com

Cross Cradle hold

Breastfeeding Positions: Pros and Cons via lactationlink.com

Cross Cradle hold

Breastfeeding Positions: Pros and Cons via lactationlink.com

Cradle hold


  • Many moms who had a cesarean birth find this position most comfortable since it doesn’t press baby’s body onto your abdomen.
  • It is usually able to be used with nursing pillows, especially if you rotate the pillow to your side.
  • You can steady baby’s head with your hand as you bring him gently and quickly to your breast when he opens wide.  
  • Some moms find baby latches better and seems more cozy in this position since they are so tight against mom and their legs don’t hang at all.  If baby is sleepy, though, it might make baby fall right to sleep due to the coziness.
  • Depending on baby’s size and mom’s breast size, football position can be tricky in public.  It’s generally easier to achieve a good latch when you have pillows behind you, which isn’t always possible at a restaurant or the mall!
  • Usually most compatible with smaller and younger babies.
Breastfeeding Positions: Pros and Cons via lactationlink.com

{Football hold} + {Plum Pretty Sugar Robe}

Laid back / Biological Nurturing

  • This is a great position for mom to relax or even catch a little nap with her feet up!
  • Some babies are more comfortable on their tummies, and this position allows baby to be on his tummy.
  • This is a great position to try when skin to skin.
  • Baby takes the lead with this position, which can feel strange for mom at first.  
  • It can feel very tricky at first, but remember that practice makes perfect!  Some moms find that having an IBCLC help them with this position for the first time to be helpful.  Many moms I see have their husbands help them the first few times with this one as they learn how to position baby and their breasts.  Other times Mom can sit back and watch baby latch unassisted. 
  • Being laid back can be great for mamas with oversupply or a forceful letdown because gravity helps to slow down the milk flow for baby.  Babies who get frustrated by choking on the milk in other positions often like this one.
  • Can be used with any age or size of baby.
  • Even if you are primarily using another position, reclining some can make any position more comfortable and prevent painful hunching over baby.
Breastfeeding Positions: Pros and Cons via lactationlink.com

Laid back nursing + {Undercover Mama dress: use code LLINK for 20% off}

Breastfeeding Positions: Pros and Cons via lactationlink.com

Laid back nursing

Side lying

  • This can be a good position if you’ve had a difficult birth and it’s uncomfortable for you to sit for long periods.
  • Some moms find this position comes naturally, but some moms need a little help figuring out where to put their arms, breasts, and baby.  Having another person help position baby at first can be helpful, too.
  • This is not the best position for nursing in public since we don’t often have access to a bed or comfy spot to lay down and nurse when not at home.
  • Of course, this is one of the best positions for mom to take a nap while feeding! Just grab a nursing nightgown and a pillow for your head!
  • Many moms use this position over the whole course of breastfeeding, no matter baby’s age!  
Breastfeeding Positions: Pros and Cons via lactationlink.com

Side lying + {Undercover Mama nursing dress: use code LLINK for 20% off}

Breastfeeding Positions: Pros and Cons via lactationlink.com

Feel free to come back and go over these pros and cons when baby enters a new stage and you need to try something new– babies always keep us on our toes!  For more information about how to achieve these positions, check out our Breastfeeding Basics class.  If you’re trying a position and it’s just not working, don’t hesitate to try another one and contact us for a consult to give you some personalized support.  Remember that the only rule when it comes to breastfeeding positions is that both mom and baby are comfortable and baby is getting what she needs!  

Have you signed up for our free email breastfeeding course?

I think you’ll find it really helpful. Click the image below for more info.

Join our free confident breastfeeding course

Thanks for stopping by,


Kristin Gourley, BS, IBCLC


Wilson-Clay, B. & Hoover, K. (2017). Positioning and latch in The Breastfeeding Atlas, 6th ed. Manchaca, Texas: LactNews Press.

Lauwers, J. & Swisher, A. (2011). Getting breastfeeding started in Counseling the nursing mother:  A lactation consultant’s guide, 5th ed. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Is My Baby’s Poop Normal?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Lactation Link team

Is my breastfed baby's poop normal? via lactationlink.com

Hi mamas! I’m Kristin Gourley, an IBCLC and mom of 5. I’m here today to talk about your breastfed baby’s poop!

Before you become a parent, you have no idea how much you’ll think about and analyze poop – trust me!  You and your partner will know just how far you’ve come when you can spend ten minutes discussing diaper frequency and appearance. 

I always ask about baby’s stooling habits because it can be a great way to know...

In fact, in every consultation I ask about baby’s stooling habits because it can be a great way to know how baby is thriving. In Breastfeeding Basics, there is lots of detail about what to expect in baby’s first poops, but today we are going to be talking about poops for infants, rather than newborns. 

Is my baby's poop normal? via lactationlink.com

The Rainbow of Poop Colors

Yellow or orangey-yellow is usually what breastfed babies’ poop is colored once mature milk comes in around 10-14 days, but sometimes it is watery, sometimes it is seedy or full of curds, sometimes it seems super thin, and sometimes it’s more like toothpaste.  The texture varies from baby to baby but can also vary from diaper to diaper in the same baby.  Some moms ask us how they would know if their baby had diarrhea since their regular poop is so liquidy.  Diarrhea is not common in the exclusively breastfed baby but if they get it, it’s generally VERY watery, comes VERY often, is usually green or almost neon can be mucousy, and almost always has a VERY foul odor (much worse than the mild smell of a breastfed baby’s poop– which is one awesome benefit of breastfeeding!).

What if baby’s poop is green?  Or kind of brown?  Well, you can breathe easy knowing that generally this is just a variation of normal.  What if you see blood?  Usually it’s nothing dangerous or scary, but it can point to an anal fissure that will probably heal on its own (these are very common!) or allergies.  Be sure to call your baby’s healthcare provider if you are concerned about anything you see.  Babies often push hard to poop, but this isn’t typically a concern.  They’re trying to figure out what is actually necessary to get their business done! 


{breastfeeding robe}

Baby Pooping Frequency

Moms will sometimes be getting into their groove with nursing and then at 6 or 8 weeks suddenly baby is only pooping every third day.  That sounds terribly uncomfortable to our adult bowels, but the exclusively breastfed baby is very rarely truly constipated.  True constipation is hard, pellet-like stool and warrants a call to the pediatrician in a breastfed baby.  If baby is passing soft, yellow stool after a long hiatus from pooping, you can rest easy– but get out your big box of wipes because this often means there will be a LOT of poop when it does come! It’s worth noting that pooping infrequently (less than once a day) at under a month old could mean inadequate milk intake, so you should check in with us to make sure baby is nursing well, but it is not a reason to panic.

Is my baby's poop normal? via lactationlink.com

If you feel like you’re up to your ears in dirty diapers, try to remind yourself that it’s an awesome problem because it means baby is drinking lots of milk to grow and thrive.  If you’re worried about your baby’s pooping habits, reach out to us for help.  If you’re pregnant or you’re still not sure what’s normal, check out our online breastfeeding video classes which also go over important things to know about poop, as well a LOT more about breastfeeding! 

Have you signed up for our Confident Breastfeeding Course yet? It’s a good intro to the online breastfeeding classes. Click the image below to download.

Koin our free confident breastfeeding course

Thanks for stopping by,


Kristin Gourley, BS, IBCLC

get answers to breastfeeding questions from a lactation consultant

Lactation Link featured on Romper

By | Breastfeeding, breastfeeding tips, Features, Media

Today, one of our IBCLCs, Kristin Gourley is answering questions about breastfeeding on Romper. She writes about the interactions between breastfeeding and birth control, breastfeeding while pregnant and gives tips on weaning.

answers to breastfeeding questions from a lactation consultant“Weaning is hard,” Gourley says. “Some moms experience some hormonal swings and all-over-the-place emotions after weaning. It should pass in a few weeks, but that may be playing into your feelings. It’s hard not to second guess ourselves as parents with so many different decisions.” She suggests that if you want to try breastfeeding again, you may be able to rebound your supply and get baby back to breast with the help of an IBCLC. “But it’s OK to stay weaned and to enjoy your new relationship with your baby Just because it’s different doesn’t mean it’s not as close,” Gourley says.

Read more at Romper.

Have you signed up yet for our free Confident Breastfeeding Course? Click the image below for more info.

6-dayThanks for stopping by,


Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Top 3 Tips for Breastfeeding after a C-Section

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Uncategorized

@rebekahanneblog asked over on Instagram “What’s the best thing to do post c-section to help with successful breastfeeding?” This is such a common question so I decided to make it into a blogpost!

Here are my top 3 breastfeeding tips for my c-section mamas:

top 3 tips for successful breastfeeding after a c-section via lactationlink.com

1) Room-in with baby. Moms that room-in, rather than use the nursery, are more likely to be exclusively breastfeeding at 4 days postpartum.

2) Lots of skin to skin. Skin to skin contact stimulates oxytocin release and more milk production! Mama’s chest is baby’s home.

A Lactation Consultant's top 3 tips for breastfeeding after a c-section. Good info to know!

3) Tweak positioning. Using positions like the football hold can keep the pressure off your healing incision.

top 3 tips for successful breastfeeding after a c-section via lactationlink.com

Undercover Mama dress; use code LLINK for 20% off!


I love helping new mamas get breastfeeding off to a good start. For more breastfeeding tips like these, check out my breastfeeding video class bundle. If you need one-on-one support before or after baby is born, consider a breastfeeding consultation. And you can also read my C-section story.

I’ve created a free e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.


Thanks for stopping by,


Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC


World Health Organization. Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2003. Retrieved from: http://www.who.int/child_adolescent_health/documents/9241562218/en/.

Bramson, L., Lee, J. W., Moore, E., Montgomery, S., Neish, C., Khaled, B., & Melcher Lopez, C. (2010). Effect of early skin-to-skin mother-infant contact during the first 3 hours following birth on exclusive breastfeeding during the maternity hospital stay. Journal of Human Lactation. vol. 26 (no. 2) 130-137. 

5 ways grandparents can support breastfeeding

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Classes, community breastfeeding support, motherhood

Hi mamas! I’m Lacey, a certified lactation educator and mom of three. I’m here today to talk about how grandparents and family members can support a new or seasoned mom while she is breastfeeding her new baby.


I am grateful I had family that supported my decision to breastfeed. Mothers and grandmothers can be very influential to a new mother. By driving me to breastfeeding consultations and sometimes latching the baby herself, my mother gave me the strength and courage to keep going.  When I was struggling, she recalled what helped her through breastfeeding struggles. She encouraged and supported me and when she didn’t have the answers, she helped me find them. 


How grandparents can help support breastfeeding

  1. Buy a breastfeeding class off mom’s registry. Our breastfeeding video classes are available to be added to a Babylist registry! Our classes cover everything from positioning, latch and common problems with breastfeeding.
  2. Encourage and uplift. Support her decision to breastfeed by encouraging and complimenting her on the gift she is giving her baby.
  3. Help around the house. Help with meals and housework. If mom has other children, take them for a fun outing.
  4. Be the door bouncer. Well-meaning family and friends might want to stop by the hospital or home to see new mom and baby. If the new mom isn’t comfortable with visitors yet, be the “bouncer” so mom doesn’t have to turn away them away herself.
  5. Cuddle and swaddle baby. Sometimes grandparents want to help by feeding baby for mom. In the early days, it’s usually best that baby be at the breast to help encourage a healthy milk supply. Support the new mom by bonding with baby after a feed when mom needs a break.

Learn 5 ways grandmas can support a new breastfeeding mother. Learn how grandmas can be the bouncer. Send this to your mom, thank us later!

How did your mother or grandmother help you breastfeed? Share in the comments.

I’ve created a free e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.


Photos by Cate Johnson.


Lacey Parr, CLEC



Mueffelmann, Rebecca E. , Racine, Elizabeth F., Warren-Findlow, Jan, & Coffmann, Maren J.,  (2015). Perceived infant feeding preferences of significant family members and mothers’ intentions to exclusively breastfeed. Journal of Human Lactation, vol. 31 (no. 3), 479-489. 


mom magazine cover

Tuesday Tools with Pregnancy + Newborn Magazine

By | Breastfeeding, Classes, Media

I’m excited to be featured in Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine’s January issue!  I’m debunking a few breastfeeding myths in the article.  Here is a preview of the questions I’m answering:

“Breastfeeding hurts. You’ll just have to get through it.”

“You’ll figure it out as you go.  There’s no need for a prenatal breastfeeding class.”

“Just ask a nurse or lactation specialist at the hospital.”

“At least you tried — just give the baby a bottle.”

“Your mom and sister didn’t produce enough milk, so you probably won’t either.”

Catch my answers and the full article here!  Also, my video breastfeeding classes answer all of these topics in detail!  Available to click and learn and they never expire.  Come say hi on instagram today and make sure you have my ‘Top Ten Tips for Breastfeeding Success’ to start with.

Thanks for coming by,

Lindsey Headshot white with grey

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

mom sleeping her baby

How to wake a sleepy baby

By | Breastfeeding, Classes, Home/Hospital Visits

Recently I’ve had some questions on Instagram about what to do when baby is sleepy at the breast: Let them be or wake them up?  Watch the video to see my answer!

More great tips like this in my in-person and online video classes.  Here is a recent review from a client who took all three classes,

“Thank you Lindsey! I really appreciate the positive support.  I know that by watching your classes, watching them each twice to be exact, that I have all of the information that I need to have a successful breastfeeding experience.  I honestly do believe that information and education are key to success! Thank you again for your wonderful classes, they truly have made me feel like I can do this successfully and I haven’t even given birth yet!”


Upcoming in-person class dates are 11/14 and 12/10.  Video classes are available anytime, anywhere – just click and learn!  I offer 3 breastfeeding classes available individually or in a bundle.  Anytime after 12 weeks in pregnancy is a great time to start taking the classes.  They never expire and come with a notes outline!  I also offer in-person and online consultations.  I love hearing from you and receiving class reviews! I hope this video was helpful and be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more great tutorials like this.

I’ve created this great e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.


Thanks for coming by today,

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Lindsey head shot

What to do when baby won’t latch

By | Breastfeeding, Classes, Home/Hospital Visits, Recommended Products

Getting baby latched

There is so much emphasis placed on getting a good latch when breastfeeding.  A good latch will help avoid nipple pain and breakdown, lead to more efficient milk removal and an overall good milk supply.  It is important!  But what happens when, despite great technique and positioning, baby won’t latch?  There are more obvious reasons why certain babies may take a little longer to get the hang of it.  For example: prematurity, a difficult delivery, or an oral abnormality to name a few.  Other times, it can take a full-term healthy baby a little longer to catch on for seemingly no reason at all!  I make sure to teach Moms in my classes what to do when baby won’t latch.  This way, if it ends up happening, they are calm and prepared instead of panicked!

Plan B

If baby won’t latch, it is still important to get them needed calories.  After several hours without a good feed, nursing staff will check blood glucose levels.  If those levels drop low enough, it may even mean admittance to the special care nursery or NICU.  Many times when blood sugar is low the first suggestion is formula supplementation with a bottle.  We know from research that early formula supplementation puts you at a higher risk for early weaning.  From my experience, I’ve found that introducing a bottle early on amidst latching problems only makes things worse.  Here’s an alternative that is low-tech, requires little equipment, and works very well to deliver needed calories without the use of a bottle.

breast hand expression in a hospital

Using hand expression to collect colostrum in a spoon

mom feeding baby with a spoon

Delivering expressed colostrum via a spoon

mom and baby eating

Sometimes, offering a few drops of colostrum on a spoon is enough to coat babies tongue, and stimulate them to latch on.  Other times it may take several feeds of delivering the colostrum this way, coupled with frequent attempts at the bare breast to get a good latch.

mom getting help to breastfeed her child

Latching baby to breast

mom swaddling her baby

baby swaddled in a blanketI hope this helps!  One Mom told me, “I’m so glad I took your class!  It took several days for my baby to latch on properly.  The whole time I was relaxed and prepared because I knew how to feed my baby in the meantime while keeping my goal of exclusive breastfeeding in mind.” ~ Maddie

I’m here to help you reach your goals, whatever they may be!  I’m here to provide all the research and options, but I’m a firm believer that “Mama Knows Best”.  I love when Moms tell me that my classes helped them have a good breastfeeding experience.  Breastfeeding Basics is available in-person in Highland, UT (upcoming dates 11/14 and 12/10) and all 3 of my video courses are available to view individually or in a bundle.  The video courses come with an outline for note-taking.  They also never expire and can be watched over and over!  Come say hi on instagram today! The nursing pillow I use in my consultations is from Ergobaby and the photography in this post is by Lizzy Jean Photography.

I’ve created this great e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.


Thanks for coming by today,

Lindsey head shot

~ Lindsey, RN, IBCLC


mom laying down with her child in bed

How to break latch properly

By | Breastfeeding, Classes

Whether breastfeeding is going great from the beginning or is requiring a little more attention and practice, you’ll want this “tool” in your back pocket!  I talk a lot in my classes about having plenty of “tools” or techniques that you are educated on to be able to use in lots of different common breastfeeding situations.  I also explain the difference between the sensation you’ll feel when baby is latched on properly, or pain that comes from an incorrect or poor latch.

Good Latch

Some of the ways Moms describe the feeling of a good latch is,

“It’s a tugging and pulling sensation”, “I feel some pressure there”,  “I feel something, but it doesn’t hurt”.

baby sucking on her mom's nipple

Bad Latch

Some of the ways Moms describe a bad latch are,

“Ouch!”,  “It’s pinching,” and they describe their pain above 5 on a 0-10 pain scale (10 being the worst).

Don’t ‘Muscle Through’

The key to avoiding skin breakdown and nipple pain is to avoid a bad latch for an extended period of time.  I have had some clients who thought they had to muscle through nipple pain because they got bad advice like, “It’s going to hurt, that’s just part of breastfeeding.”  That’s not true!  A good latch will not hurt!  Let me explain this a little further.  Your nipples will most likely feel tender post-delivery.  That is much different than Ouch! Ouch! 9/10 pinching pain.  Also, if you have had an incorrect latch for several feeds to a few days, there may be some pain with a good latch while healing is occurring.  Many women are able to continue breastfeeding during the healing as long as the problem has been corrected.  Nipple pain and soreness is one of the top 3 reasons mothers wean their babies!  So what do you do when you are having a lot of pain during latch-on?  Read on!

How to break latch properly

When you have a poor latch, it’s important to break the latch properly, and start over with the latch process.  Most of the time this problem can be solved by waiting for the infant to open their mouth wide, and also bringing them onto the breast deeply.  There are two ways to break the latch properly.

Insert your finger into the corner of baby’s mouth – push back in between the gums


mom finishing breastfeeding 018-storyboard

Roll the baby’s top lip back toward their nose

019-storyboard breaking a latch

I hope this helps!  More great tips, pictures, and video tutorials in my Breastfeeding video classes, available to view at your convenience.  No need to ‘sign up’, just click and watch.  Also the classes come with a notes outline, can be watched as many times as you like, and never expire!  I’m running a great giveaway today on instagram and be sure to download my free PDF, ‘Top Ten Tips for Breastfeeding Success’.

I’ve created this great e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.


Thanks for coming by today!

xo ~ Lindsey, RN, IBCLC

Lindsey head shot

Friday Favs – Covered Goods

By | Breastfeeding, Classes, Recommended Products

One of my favorite things to recommend in my classes and consultations is a Covered Goods multi-use nursing cover.  I’ve had so many clients tell me how much they love it!  Also Moms who didn’t have it with a previous child tell me they don’t know how they lived without it.  One client sent this to me after I recommended Covered Goods to her,

“With each baby I truly have learned that less is more when it comes to ‘baby items’.  However, I can’t count how many times over the past few months I’ve said, ‘How did I live through nursing four other kids without this!!!’ Covered Goods really should be at the top of ANY nursing moms MUST-HAVES! The material is simply perfection and the design flawless.  I’ve found it especially helpful because our family is always on the go and I’ve put it to use on the airplane, at soccer games, as a car seat cover, out at restaurants, and most recently on the beaches of Hawaii! Thanks for letting me know about it.”

mom relaxing on a beach

Jamie, the owner of Covered Goods, really hit a home run with this product.  I love when I find something that is truly beneficial for so many Moms.  This is a 4-in-1 cover that can be used for breastfeeding, as a car seat cover, a scarf, and also some Moms buy another and use it as a shopping cart cover.  The ‘Watercolor’, ‘Mismatch’, and ‘Classic Grey & Ivory Stripe’ are my current favorite prints!

covered goods breastfeeding advertisement

I recommend Covered Goods in all my classes, both in-person and online.  I have a few upcoming Breastfeeding Basics classes in Highland, UT on 10/24, 11/5, and 11/14.  My online video classes that are available at your convenience include Breastfeeding Basics, Intermediate Breastfeeding, and Pumping and Storing Breastmilk.  Anytime after 12 weeks in pregnancy is a great time to start preparing for your little one!

I’ve created this great e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.


Hope this is helpful!  Thanks for coming by today,

xo ~ Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Lindsey head shot