How to breastfeed

There is no single way to breastfeed and different mums may find different techniques easier to achieve successful breastfeeding.

One of the first things to understand is attachment which is how the baby takes the breast into his mouth to enable them to feed.

The following points are a good way to recognise effective attachment:

  • Chin touching breast
  • Mouth wide open
  • Lower lip curled back
  • Cheeks full and rounded
  • More areola visible above top lip
  • Rhythmic suck/swallow with pauses
  • Feeding is pain-free

Another key area is positioning. Whilst there are a number of ways you can hold your baby, described in more detail on the pages within this section, there are some key pointers to follow to make sure your baby can feed well:

  • Your baby should be held close to you
  • They should be facing the breast, with head, shoulders and body in a straight line without having to stretch or twist
  • Their nose or top lip should be opposite the nipple
  • Remember always to move your baby towards the breast rather than your breast towards the baby
  • You should be comfortable enough to have a drink or read a magazine