Best Positions for Breast Pumping

Breast pumping happens during the recovery period after giving birth, when many physical changes happen. Finding a comfortable position during pumping is essential to avoid unnecessary fatigue or pain. As a new mom, you’ll want to prioritize comfort to be your happiest, healthiest self. Pumps for Mom compiled some of the most common pumping and feeding positions below to help you prepare for nursing

Pumping Positions

You don’t want poor posture during breast pumping because it may lead to irritation. Instead, sit or stand upright with your shoulders open, back straight, feet flat on the floor and arms supported. Try a pillow or armrest to help hold your bottles or milk catcher steady while pumping. 


However, if you are recovering from a c-section or experiencing perineum soreness, it may be painful to sit up straight. Slight reclining is okay to take pressure off your sore areas, but remain cognizant of backflow and don’t lean too far. 


Some moms prefer the flexibility of hands-free pumping. Hook up your electric pump while wearing a compatible bra. Position your pump parts in a way that enables them to stay elevated and attached to the breast.


No matter how you sit and pump, it’s important to keep the flange centered around the nipple. It creates an airtight suction that mimics a baby’s natural suckling pattern. A properly attached flange leads to an ample milk supply. 


Feeding Positions 

When it comes to breastfeeding, there are several tried-and-true positions to consider. When possible, consider replicating the following methods for breast pumping. 


The Laid-Back Nursing Position

Sit in a reclined position with this natural approach that emphasizes the comfort between mom and baby. Work with gravity as your baby rests their chest down with their head close to your breast area. Let them move naturally to latch and start feeding. 

The Cradle Hold 

The cradle hold is a popular position that may be tricky initially but is generally considered a comfortable way to nurse. Cradle your baby with the arm corresponding to the breast they are feeding from, with their head turned towards your tummy. Don’t lean towards your baby, but bring them to you to save yourself from back pain. 

The Cross-Cradle Hold 

The cross-cradle hold is ideal for newborns. Sit up straight and bring your baby’s tummy to your tummy, holding them in the arm opposite the breast they’re feeding from. Support your baby’s head with your thumb and forefinger by holding them directly behind the ears. 

The Football Hold 

The football hold, or the clutch hold, involves holding your child under your arm on the same side you’re nursing from. Hold your baby’s head gently with your palm and help support their weight by tucking a pillow under your arm. 

The Side-Lying Position

Lie on your side while facing your baby on their side. Their mouth should be level with your nipple. Cradle their back with your forearm and support yourself with pillows behind your own back. 


When you’re breast pumping or feeding your baby, there may be an adjustment period while you figure out the best way to latch. No position is better than another—what matters is that it works for you and your baby. If you want more information on breast pumps or need help with the process, reach out to the team at Pumps for Mom today. We’re happy to help.