Laid Back Breastfeeding - Making Nursing Easier

The laid-back nursing position, also known as the reclining breastfeeding position is more skin-to-skin friendly than other breastfeeding positions since the whole front of your baby will be flat against you. Your hands are also free in this position to caress your new-born baby.

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A baby sleeping peacefully.

What is biological nursing?

How can I get my baby to latch on laid-back?

Benefits of laid-back breastfeeding

The Laid-back breastfeeding position is as old as the human race itself but was recently reintroduced into modern society by midwife Suzanne Colson, Ph.D., as the biological nurturing position.

Did you know that newborns can crawl to the breast and latch themselves a few minutes after birth?

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Skin-to-skin contact - Photo by __ drz __ on Unsplash

In hospitals, mothers are still, in most areas, taught to sit up and hold their babies in a cradle hold. But what if there was a more natural, easier way to learn to breastfeed your newborn?

What Is a Laid-Back Breastfeeding Position?

The laid-back nursing position, aka the reclining breastfeeding position, is much more skin-to-skin friendly than other nursing positions since the whole front of your infant will be flat against you. Your hands are also free to embrace your newborn.

You are most comfortable in this position with your back, neck, head, and shoulders supported. Your body will support your baby's body.

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother never. A mother is something absolutely new.” - Rajneesh

During the first hour after birth, your newborn may start drooling, licking, or making sucking movements. They will then begin to lift their head a little, rooting for the breast and nipple. You can help your baby to the breast or support your baby while finding their way to the nipple. Your little one will find its way via smell and touch. When your baby gets to the nipple, they will start opening their mouth and can latch by themselves.

Remember, it's normal for your newborn to breastfeed around the clock during the first few weeks. Nursing on cue is recommended. Learn more about the signs of hunger here.

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What Are the Advantages of Biological Nursing Positions?

Unlike most breastfeeding positions, there are no instructions to follow!

  • Your baby’s body is fully supported, and so is yours.
  • You can move your baby until you are comfortable.
  • Gravity helps you by pushing your newborn's head against your breast.
  • The benefits of skin-to-skin contact are vast, and in this position, you can have your baby’s body flat against yours with nothing in-between.
  • Your little one will feel secure. It is a form of kangaroo care.
  • You will have one or both hands-free to caress your baby.
  • You can sleep and relax while nursing. Learn more about co-sleeping here.
  • When taking advantage of biological nurturing breastfeeding positions, the chances of sore, painful nipples are decreased.
  • Beneficial if a mother has a fast letdown (fast milk flow). Nursing your baby in an upright or semi-reclined position will ensure that your infant's airway stays open.
  • This position will help expel excess gas in your baby, leaving you with a less gassy, happier baby.
  • Does laid-back breastfeeding count as tummy time? Yes, in fact, the biological nursing position is the original tummy time.  

Eventually, you and your baby will start to breastfeed in strange positions. It does get easier!

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Good Reading Sources for Latching and Positioning

  • Breastfeeding made simple by Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett
  • The latch, by Dr. Jack Newman and Teresa Pitman
  • Mother-Baby Experiences of Nurturing, by Suzanne Colson
    Baby-led Nursing, by Christina Smillie (DVD)
  • Biological Nurturing: Laid back Nursing Position, by Suzanne Colson (DVD)
  • Follow Me, Mum, by Rebecca Glover (DVD)
  • Laid-back breastfeeding Kellymom
  • The breastfeeding guide for pain-free nursing by Kate Hale, Midwife and lactation consultant.

How Do You Breastfeed With Laid-Back Nursing?

Laid-back Breastfeeding Video

Breastfeeding Latch Video

Breastfeeding positioning and attachment.


The womanly art of breastfeeding, 8th edition, Chapter 4, Latching and attaching, laidback breastfeeding.

Header photo by Peter Oslanec on Unsplash