top of page
  • Writer's pictureForthe Baby

Side Lying Breastfeeding – When & How to Do It

Updated: Nov 14, 2022


As a new mother, you're going to have your hands full. Between changing diapers and rocking babies to sleep, breastfeeding can seem like an extra step that you just don't have the time for. But rest assured: breastfeeding is important for both you and your baby. Not only does it provide valuable nutrients, but it also helps strengthen the bond between you two during this crucial time in your lives together. A lot of women are surprised to hear that there's another way to breastfeed besides sitting up straight or lying down flat on their back: side-lying breastfeeding!

How To Side Lying Breastfeed

  • Lay on your side, with your back straight and supported.

  • Use one hand to support the breast and keep it close to the baby's mouth. Make sure that his nose and chin are not turned toward you—this will cause him to choke (or at least make him uncomfortable).

  • Using a soft, flat pillow or two stacked together, place them under your head so that it's slightly lifted off of the bed. This will prevent strain on your neck muscles while maintaining comfort while breastfeeding. The height of this pillow will depend on how long you plan on laying down during this activity—you may need more than one if it's going to last awhile!

If you're using a pillow to support your breast, make sure that it's fluffy and soft. You don't want any hard edges or corners poking into your chest, as this can cause discomfort for both yourself and the baby. If you feel pain while breastfeeding, stop immediately—you may need to switch positions so that he's not putting pressure on a certain area of your body.

What Is Side Lying Nursing?

Side lying breastfeeding is a position where the mother lies on her side with the baby's head resting on her arm. The baby is facing either the mother's chest or her back, depending on which way she decides to turn (and whether or not she has enough room).

The mother can use her free arm to support her baby's head if needed while holding onto them with one hand and holding up their body with another. This position helps relieve pressure from the spine and lower back when compared to other breastfeeding positions, such as laying flat on your back or sitting upright in bed.

This position is also very comfortable for the mother because it allows her to be in a more natural state, similar to how she would hold a newborn baby. The breast is at its most effective when the baby's mouth is wide open and their tongue is free from obstruction—which this position does extremely well.

Benefits of Side Lying Breastfeeding

Side lying breastfeeding is a wonderful way to nurse when your baby is sleepy. It can be easier for your little one to latch on when she’s dozy, and this position makes it possible for you both to snuggle up together. When you put your baby in this position, her head will be supported by the pillow and her body aligned with yours. This allows her to relax so that she doesn’t have to work too hard at keeping herself upright while eating!

When done correctly, side lying breastfeeding offers many benefits. The positions of our bodies are similar enough that there isn’t much strain on either of us; instead we get all of the comfort without any discomfort whatsoever! Also if we need a break from feeding (for instance if we're tired or need more rest), then we can easily switch into another position without waking up our little ones who might otherwise cry out about being hungry again soon after falling asleep during one feeding session...

When Might You Need to Breastfeed in Bed?

You may need to breastfeed in bed for the following reasons:

  • If your baby needs regular breastfeeding during the night, then this can be done from the bed. This is particularly useful if you have a difficult sleeper who won’t settle on the side lying position and/or wakes frequently at night.

  • If your baby has been diagnosed with colic, then side lying breastfeeding may help as it brings colic relief for some babies.

  • Some mothers find side lying breastfeeding helpful when recovering from cesarean section or if they had a difficult birth.

If you have sore nipples or are experiencing breastfeeding pain, then side lying breastfeeding can help. If you have had a long day and just want to curl up on the bed with your baby, this is also a good position for bonding.

How to Side Lying Breastfeed

Side lying breastfeeding is a great option for mothers who are recovering from a C-section, have had a baby with low muscle tone or are recovering from postpartum hemorrhoids. Side lying breastfeeding can also help keep your baby in one position while they breastfeed which may help them to fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep longer.

To side lie breastfeed:

  • Lay your baby down on the side of the bed (they should be facing towards you). If you're using pillows, place one under their head and another between their legs to support their body. This will allow them to rest comfortably with their head in an upright position so that they can latch on easily without having to stretch or move around too much.

  • Position yourself so that you're sitting up against something firm such as a wall or headboard (not directly on it though). You want enough support behind you so that there is no strain on your back but not so much that it causes discomfort for either yourself or baby when trying to nurse!

Hold your baby's head in one hand, supporting their neck with your other hand. Try to keep your elbows tucked in close to your body as you hold them so that they don't have too much freedom of movement around their head. If they do start moving around a lot, try repositioning yourself or using pillows to support them better and make it easier for them to stay still while breastfeeding. When they're latched on properly, lock eyes with them and slowly lower yourself down onto the bed until you're lying flat on your back with both of you facing each other.

Side lying breastfeeding can be useful for mothers and babies.

Side lying breastfeeding can be useful for mothers and babies.

  • Side lying breastfeeding is useful for mothers who have had a c-section. After you’re recovered from your c-section, it may feel more comfortable to breastfeed lying down on your side. This position keeps the baby away from the scar on your abdomen and helps prevent internal bleeding from the surgery area.

  • Side lying breastfeeding can be useful for mothers with a sore back: If you have sore shoulders or hips, this position will help reduce pain in these areas as well. It also makes it easier for you to place pillows behind yourself so that they support your body while feeding or holding your baby close at night when he sleeps next to you in bed (or if he is sick with something contagious). You should never use any pillow that has been used by another person unless it has been washed before being used again (and even then, some moms recommend against using pillows altogether).

  • Side laying breastfeeding is great when nursing through mastitis because there's no pressure against either breast - which can help reduce discomfort while nursing through this painful condition!


Side lying breastfeeding is a great option for moms who want to breastfeed in bed, or who have trouble nursing on their sides. It can also be helpful for mothers who are recovering from cesarean sections or other surgeries that make it difficult to lift their babies up onto their breasts.

Everything your baby needs for the best night sleep ever every night.

Every baby needs a good night’s sleep but finding a way to get them there is not always easy. That’s why we came up with our dedicated baby sleep products so your little one can have the best sleep ever, every night.


Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page