Football Or Rugby Ball Hold Breastfeeding Position

rugby ball hold or football hold breastfeeding position

The Football/Rugby Ball Hold is a versatile breastfeeding position that offers both convenience and comfort for nursing mothers. This technique is particularly beneficial for various situations, such as feeding twins or recovering from a C-section.

How To Do The Rugby Ball Hold

When using the Rugby Ball breastfeeding position, the baby is held at the mother's side, resembling the grip on a football or rugby ball. Your baby's body will lay alongside you, under the arm of the side you are going to feed from. Using that same hand, support your baby’s neck and use the other hand to guide your breast to their mouth, aligning their nose with your nipple. 


  1. Prepare Your Sitting Area: Create a comfortable and supportive sitting area for both you and your baby. Consider using a nursing pillow to elevate your baby to the right height and to ensure a comfortable and relaxed posture for yourself. Ensure you have everything you need within reach, like burp cloths and a water bottle.
  2. Position Your Baby: Hold your baby at your side, facing you, with their body tucked closely under your arm, resembling the grip on a football or rugby ball. Your baby should lay on their side so that their tummy is touching your body, and their head, shoulders, and hips are in alignment. 
  3. Support Your Baby's Neck: Gently cradle your baby with one hand, supporting the neck and ensuring a secure hold. It is important to hold your baby’s neck instead of their head because their neck is the weakest part of their body as newborns. Cradling them here will give you the most control over them without putting too much pressure on their delicate body. 
  4. Guide Your Baby to Latch: Guide your baby's mouth to your breast, aligning their nose with your nipple. Wait for a big open mouth from your baby and bring your baby to your breast, squishing your areloa in order to get as much of your breast into their mouth as possible. Check to make sure your baby’s lips are flanged outward and that you can see and hear them swallowing. If you don’t feel your baby has a good latch, or the latch is painful throughout the feed, gently unlatch and try again.

Pros and Cons of Rugby Ball Hold

The Rugby Ball Hold is a popular breastfeeding position because it is comfortable and easy for beginners. However, like any breastfeeding position, it does have it’s challenges. 


  • View Of Baby: One significant advantage of the Football Hold is the clear view it provides of the baby while latching. Mothers can easily observe and ensure a proper latch, promoting effective breastfeeding.
  • Comfortable With Larger Breasts: Mothers with larger breasts often find this position comfortable as it allows them to better manage their breast size and maintain control during the feeding session.
  • Comfortable After C-Section: For mothers recovering from a C-section, the Football Hold can be less strain on the incision site compared to other positions, as it keeps the baby away from the abdominal area.
  • Can Be Used With Twins: This position is ideal for breastfeeding twins simultaneously. It offers accessibility and efficiency, allowing the mother to nurse both babies at once.


  • Takes Practice: As with most breastfeeding positions, it may require some practice to perfect this technique. Both the mother and baby may need time to adjust to this position for optimal comfort and effectiveness.
  • Difficult As Baby Grows: As the baby grows and becomes more active, maintaining the Football Hold can become challenging. It may be necessary to transition to different positions as the baby's size and movements evolve.
  • Requires Support Or Props: Some mothers may find it challenging to hold their baby in the Football Hold without additional support or props. Pillows or nursing cushions can be used to provide extra comfort and stability.

When To Use

The Football/Rugby Ball Hold is particularly helpful when your baby is still small, and you're just starting to get the hang of breastfeeding, especially in the first few days after having your baby. This position is great because it lets you see how your baby latches onto your breast. It also gives you good control over your baby's neck and your breast, making it easier for them to latch on well. 

If you've had a C-section and are looking for a position that minimizes pressure on your insision, this hold is a good choice while you’re recovering. Using this position early on can make breastfeeding easier and more comfortable for both you and your baby.

Alternative Breastfeeding Positions

As your baby grows and becomes more active, you may find it beneficial to explore alternative breastfeeding positions. These variations not only cater to your baby's changing dynamics but also offer versatility in your nursing routine. Here are a few alternatives to the Football/Rugby Ball Hold that you might consider:

  1. Upright Football Hold: In the Upright Football Hold, your baby is held vertically against your chest, providing a different angle for breastfeeding. This position can be particularly useful as your baby becomes more curious and engaged during feeding, allowing them to explore their surroundings while nursing.
  2. Double Football Hold: Ideal for mothers of twins, the Double Football Hold involves holding one baby on each side, resembling the grip on two footballs. This position provides a balanced approach, ensuring both babies have equal access to feeding while allowing you to maintain control and support.
  3. Cross Cradle Hold: The Cross Cradle Hold is a versatile option where you hold your baby across your body with the opposite arm supporting their head. This position promotes a secure latch and allows for better control, making it suitable for babies who may have difficulty latching on their own.

My Experience With The Rugby Hold

The Football/Rugby Ball Hold made a real difference for me, especially in those early days in the hospital and when I got back home. I started using this position right away, and let me tell you, it was a game-changer.

What I loved about it was how comfortable it was for both me and my baby. The position allowed me to really help her get a deep latch, which, as you know, is crucial for effective breastfeeding. I also used a breastfeeding pillow for extra support, and it made the whole process even more comfy for both of us.

In the beginning, it was my go-to position, but I have to admit, as my little one grew, things got a bit tricky. She started kicking her feet off the back of the chair, and that made it a bit more challenging to use. However, despite not sticking with it for long, I genuinely believe it's an important position for every breastfeeding mom to have in her toolkit.

Those early days are so crucial, and having a position like this one can make a world of difference. So, if you're just starting out or even if you're a seasoned breastfeeding pro, I'd say give the Football/Rugby Ball Hold a try. It might become your go-to, just like it was for me in those first precious moments with my little one.

Final Thoughts

The Football/Rugby Ball Hold stands out as a helpful breastfeeding position, offering practicality and adaptability for moms. Its benefits, like giving a clear view during latching and being comfortable for larger breasts or post-C-section recovery, highlight its usefulness in different situations. It's especially handy in the early postpartum days, as you and your baby get the hang of breastfeeding. 

Adding the Football Hold to your breastfeeding routine not only strengthens your bond but also makes the journey smoother, ensuring a positive and comfy experience for both you and your baby.

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Author, Founder @ Latch Luxe

Stefanie Statler

Stefanie Statler is an author and the founder of Latch Luxe, with a loving husband and daughter. She is a dedicated advocate for breastfeeding mothers and understands the challenges and joys of motherhood firsthand. Email me at

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