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Tips on Positioning, Holding your baby and Attachment.



Firstly, before you start breastfeeding your baby have a drink or snack prepared and within arms reach. A magazine or book nearby can also useful once the breastfeed gets underway.

  • Ensure that you are sitting or lying comfortably, and that your back is well supported.
  • A pillow behind your head, back and one between your legs can be helpful if lying on your side.
  • It can also be helpful to use a pillow to support your baby, especially in the early days and weeks.
  • Your lap,(hips to knees) should be level.
  • A low footstool or thick book to rest your feet on can also be useful, as this can help with posture by preventing you from stooping over towards your baby.

See also: the NHS positioning and attachment page

Holding your baby

  • Hold your baby close to you, turning his/her body towards you, facing your breast with his nose opposite your nipple.
  • Baby’s body should be in a straight line.
  • Support your baby’s neck and shoulders; you may also find it helpful to tuck your baby’s bottom under your elbow.


  • Move your baby to the breast, rather than bending over and bringing breast towards your baby.
  • Allow your baby’s head to tilt back slightly.
  • Move your baby’s mouth gently across your nipple until baby’s mouth opens really wide.
  • Remember, hold your baby close with his nose level with your nipple.
  • Bring baby quickly towards your breast when his mouth is wide open, ensuring that the bottom lip and chin touch your breast first.
  • Aim your nipple towards the roof of your baby’s mouth.

Signs of good attachment

  • Wide, open mouth
  • You can feel your baby has a big mouthful of breast (areola-the brown coloured skin around the nipple).
    Cheeks are rounded, not sucked in.
  • Initial quick sucks, then gradually slow deep sucks with swallows as feed progresses.
  • You may initially feel a tingling, ‘drawing’ feeling in your breasts, (let-down/milk ejection reflex) but you should not be feeling pain throughout the feed, unlatch your baby if you feel pain.
    NB: The nose should not be squashed into the breast and there should not be a gap between the breast and baby’s chin.
  • It may take several attempts to position and attach your baby onto your breast each time, however, like everything else, it improves with practice. Just make sure you have plenty of support around you and don’t be afraid to ask for advice and reassurance!





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