Positioning

There are several different breastfeeding positions. It is worth trying all, to find what works best for you and your baby

Latching On in Cradle Position:
  • Lower the baby to the level of the breast (so you won’t have to lift the breast).
  • Hold the baby close to your body, well supported by your cradling arm. Rest your arms on pillows for support if needed.
  • Line up the baby’s body so that your nipple touches the baby’s nose.
  • Hug the baby’s hips close to your body.
  • Wait until the baby tips and reaches for the nipple. Some mothers use their free hand to put slight pressure on the breast right above the nipple. This helps point the nipple to the roof of the baby’s mouth.
  • Draw in the baby at the neck, shoulders and hips (the chin will touch the breast first). The baby’s chin will be tucked close to your breast and the nose will be tipped away.
  • Avoid drawing the baby to breast by pushing on the head. This will bury the nose and block your view of baby’s face. The baby’s lips should be flanged.
Latching On in Cradle Position:
  • Cross Cradle (to latch baby to left breast)
  • Support the baby with your right arm. Hug baby's hips close using your upper arm. Use your right hand to support the baby at the base of head.
  • Shape your left breast with your left hand.
  • Stroke the baby's lips with your nipple, encouraging baby to tip the head slightly to reach it. This helps baby open wider.
  • Use your left thumb to tip your nipple toward the roof of the baby's mouth as he/she comes on. Hug the baby in close at the shoulders and hips.
  • Once latched, baby’s chin will be tucked into the breast and the nose will be tipped away. Mother and baby should be able to look into each other's eyes.
Latching On in Clutch Position:
  • Tuck the baby’s bottom up against the back of the chair or bed pillow (if baby’s feet are straight back, baby will push away and be stiff).
  • Turn the baby’s body in toward yours.
  • Lift the breast and stroke the baby’s lips until baby tips back and reaches for the nipple.
  • Hug baby close with pressure on the neck and shoulders. Draw baby in with the chin touching the breast. This allows baby’s head to tip back slightly so nose is unblocked. Mother and baby should be able to look into each other’s eyes.
Latching On in Side-lying Position:
  • Rest comfortably on your side (use pillows at your back if needed).
  • Place the baby’s lower shoulder close to your ribs (tucked close under your breast). Roll the baby toward you.
  • Baby should be ‘down hill’ from your breast (your nipple should touch the baby on the nose or even between the eyes).
  • Baby will sense the nipple and push up to take it (this will tip the nose away from the breast and allow you to look into one another’s eyes). Baby’s chin will be tucked close to the breast.
  • Some babies need their mother to shape the breast to help them latch (especially if the breast is large, very full, or the nipples are flat).
Pain During Latch On:

It is common for mothers to have mildly tender nipples for several days following the birth.

  • If the latch hurts after a few seconds, take the baby off and try again. Make sure that the baby’s mouth is open wide, like a yawn and you bring baby on to the breast. When latched properly the bottom lip should be turned out.
  • Always look at the shape of the nipple when the baby comes off. A pinched shape is a sign that the baby’sbottom jaw is closing on the nipple rather than on the breast.
  • Seek help from a health professional such as a professional lactation consultant or breastfeeding specialist if pain persists or cracking occurs.