Breastfeeding may be the natural way to feed your baby but that doesn’t mean that it comes easily! Both mum and baby have to learn how to get breastfeeding right – and the best way to ensure breastfeeding is a success is by getting baby positioned and latched onto the breast correctly.
Here are our simple tips to make correct breastfeeding positioning easy:
Most importantly, make sure you're sitting in a comfortable chair with a glass of water - breastfeeding's thirsty work. Also, keep a pen and paper close by to record which side you fed from and for how long each. You'll want to make sure your baby feeds equally from both sides to even out milk production. Find a comfortable position for your baby to feed in which allows for easy access and is comfortable for you to hold for the feed.
Best breastfeeding positions
We've found the cradle and football holds to be the easiest with newborns. With one hand, support your breast by cupping underneath. Keep your fingers away from your nipple. Hold your baby by putting the heel of your other hand between your baby's shoulders, holding him with the palm of your hand. Let your baby's head fall between your thumb and forefinger. Make sure your baby's neck is in extension, with his chin pointing at the breast and eyes looking up. Point your nipple at his nose and quickly bring baby to your breast. Do not bring your breast to your baby. Your baby's bottom lip should take in about 2cm of your breast below the nipple and his chin should be buried in your breast.
Consider seeing a lactation consultant during the early days of breastfeeding to make sure you have your baby latched on correctly, since an incorrect latch or unlatch is the main reason for nipple pain and possible cracked nipples
This article was written by Linda Drummond for Birth, Australia's leading pregnancy and parenting resource.
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Last revised: Friday, 21 December 2012
This article contains general information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.