Breast-feeding: Football hold

Illustration of the football hold for breast-feeding

In the football hold, you sit on a bed or sofa. Your baby is tucked under your arm and lying along the side you will be feeding on. You can use pillows to help support the baby and your arms. The baby's head is in your hand (on the same side as the breast being used), and the upper body is supported by your arm. With that hand you can control the baby's head to bring the baby's mouth in quickly for a good latch. Your other hand reaches across to support and narrow your breast.

The football hold is similar to the cross-cradle hold, but because the baby is not resting on the abdomen, the football position is useful for women who delivered by cesarean delivery, women who have large breasts, and women breast-feeding babies who have trouble taking enough of the areola (the dark circle around the nipple) into their mouths.

Last Updated: May 4, 2009

Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Deborah A. Penava, BA, MD, FRCSC, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.