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Positioning & attachment

What position should you use?

There are lots of different positions for breastfeeding. You just need to check the following:

Are your baby’s head and body in a straight line?

If not, your baby might not be able to swallow easily.

Are you holding your baby close to you?

Support his neck, shoulders and back.
He should be able to tilt his head back easily. And he shouldn’t have to reach out to feed.­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

Are you comfortable?

It’s worth getting comfortable before a feed, although it’s ok to change your position slightly once the baby is attached to the breast.

Is your baby’s nose opposite your nipple?

Your baby needs to get a big mouthful of breast from underneath the nipple. Placing your baby with his nose level with your nipple will allow him to reach up and attach to the breast well.

Signs that your baby is feeding well

  • Your baby’s chin is firmly touching your breast.
  • It doesn’t hurt you when your baby feeds (although the first few sucks may feel strong).
  • If you can see the dark skin around your nipple, you should see more dark skin above your baby’s top lip than below your baby’s bottom lip.
  • Your baby’s cheeks stay rounded during sucking.
  • Your baby rhythmically takes long sucks and swallows (it is normal for your baby to pause from time to time).
  • Your baby finishes the feed and comes off the breast on his or her own.

Make sure your baby is properly attached to your breast
You will have a good supply of milk and your baby will get a good feed.
It will help stop your breasts getting sore.

Try not to give your baby a dummy
Babies who have a dummy sometimes find it difficult to remember how to attach to mum’s breast.
Your baby will be less likely to feed when they need to so won’t take in as much milk.

It can take a while before you feel confident. You can ask your midwife, health visitor or peer support worker to help you with breastfeeding, or call the National Breastfeeding Helpline: 0300 100 0212.

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