Rugby isn’t hugely popular in the states. I only know a bit about it because in college, I had a boyfriend from the UK who was way into it.
In fact, I thought about Tom when I wrote my recent post that mentioned the rugby hold. I hope he’s doing alright.
Anyway, lately, I’ve been getting into some more breastfeeding position discussions, and a lot of you have messaged about the rugby ball hold. It seems many of you here in the US are confused by what it is and what it means, so allow me to help you get into position for this one!
What is rugby ball hold breastfeeding?
In case you’ve never seen a game of rugby, they hold a ball that’s shaped a little like a football but much bigger, clutching it under their arms. I’ll spare you the details of the rest of the sport since all you need to know about it for the purpose of feeding a baby or twins is how the ball is held.
The rugby ball hold for breastfeeding is basically holding your baby like a rugby ball. It can be called the underarm or clutch position, so if you’ve heard of those, that is what I’m talking about.
What’s great about the rugby ball hold is that it can be done in a double rugby ball hold or double-clutch hold, to feed twins at the same time successfully.
You will find the rugby ball hold a great one for those with one baby if you have had a c-section or if your boobs are huge. Smaller or premature babies are also easier to feed in this position. And yes, it’s easier to feed twins in this double rugby ball hold.
How to do rugby hold breastfeeding?
Because there’s no pressure on your abdomen, you may find this the easiest position after your c-section, whether you have one baby or a set of twins. Twins can be fed simultaneously, making it a lot easier.
All you have to do is get into position.
Here’s how to do the rugby or clutch hold…
- Pick a good place to sit. Ideally, it’s a chair with a cushion or some sort of pillow along your side. Make sure you are comfortable! That is the key to any breastfeeding position!
- Put your baby on your side. Use the side you want to feed from, and you’ll want to put your baby under your arm like a clutch bag you’d wear with a fancy dress. The baby’s hips should be matched up with yours.
- If you have twins, put the other baby on the other side. Please do the same thing with your other side, making sure they are lined up.
- Level the nipple. Your baby should have their nose on the same level as your nipple.
- Now guide your baby (or babies!) to the nipples, and they should start latching on and nursing.
I realize that reading these steps is entirely different from seeing it in action, so this video on how to do the rugby ball hold will give you a visual that you can follow.
In the video, you can see that the baby is on a nursing pillow which I recommend you use to make it easier. It takes the strain away and lets you relax and let the baby nurse.
Also, you’ll see that the baby’s feet are pointed behind the sofa, which is exactly how you want your baby to be positioned when using the rugby ball hold.
As with any breastfeeding position, especially for first-time mamas, please try to release any tension first. If it feels uncomfortable, try something else. There is no one position that every mama must do to breastfeed her baby or babies successfully.
Your ultimate goal should be to get a good latch and keep yourself comfortable so breastfeeding goes well for you and your baby!
Leslie Berry lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Altos, California where she loves helping other moms get comfortable with motherhood and embracing the insanity with facts peppered with laughs. She loves eating too much sushi, exercise, and jamming out on her Fender.