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Positioning and attachments

You can breastfeed in a number of different positions. Finding one that is comfortable for both of you will help your baby feed as well as possible. If you are lying back in a well supported position with your baby lying on your tummy, they will often move themselves onto your breast and begin to feed. Remember at all times to keep your baby safe. You can try feeding lying on your side or in a chair, supported in an upright position. This will make it easier to hold your baby so their neck, shoulders and back are supported and they can reach your breast easily. Their head and body should be in a straight line.

  • Hold your baby’s whole body close with the nose level with your nipple.
  • Let your baby’s head tip back a little so that their top lip can brush against your nipple. This should help your baby to make a wide open mouth.
  • When your baby’s mouth opens wide, the chin is able to touch the breast first, with the head tipped back so that the tongue can reach as much breast as possible.
  • With the chin firmly touching, and with the nose clear, the mouth is wide open, and there will be much more of the darker skin visible above your baby’s top lip than below their bottom lip – and their cheeks will look full and rounded as your baby feeds.

This information is taken from the Department of Health’s book "Birth to Five" which you can download.

Helpful Tip: Breastfeeding should feel comfortable. Your baby should be relaxed. You should hear a soft swallowing. If it doesn’t feel right, start again. Slide one of your fingers into your baby’s mouth, gently break the suction and try again.

See "Hand Expression” info from "Problem Solving Mothers Guide".

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