How do I know my baby is positioned and attached correctly (latched on well)?
Correct positioning and attachment of the baby to the breast is the key to successful breastfeeding. When your baby is positioned and attached correctly to the breast he will find it easier to feed well and you will find it more comfortable. In the early days, some mums may feel discomfort at the beginning of a feed as they get used to the sensation. Feeding should not be painful.
The following are the steps that your baby takes when attaching to your breast:
- It helps your baby get to the breast when your nipple is between his upper lip and nose. Tickle his nose with the tip of your nipple.
- He will tilt his head back, when opening his mouth so he can reach for the nipple. He will then open his mouth wide and his chin will touch the breast first.
- Then he will snuggle up close and feed well. Baby’s nose should be free to breathe. The deeper the attachment the more comfort for you and the better your baby feeds.
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Signs that your baby is positioned and attached correctly to your breast
- Baby has a big wide mouthful of breast in his mouth, with his chin touching your breast. You may notice his top and bottom lips curled out to resemble the letter K,
- Baby’s cheeks are full and rounded, you should not see the cheeks dimpling when baby sucks,
- Baby’s jaw is moving, you will also see his little ears twitch as he feeds,
- Baby starts with short quick sucks, then changes to long deep sucks with pauses to breathe,
- You should hear swallowing as your breastmilk volume increases, not smacking or clicking sounds,
- Baby feeds calmly and does not fuss or come on and off the breast
- Baby finishes feeding and seems satisfies
- You will feel comfortable during a feed and your nipples should not be sore or blanched after the feeds.
For guidance on all aspects of breastfeeding click here to download a copy of our Breastfeeding - A Good Start in Life booklet