Positioning your baby to feed

There is a lot of support that can be given to your by your midwife, both in the hospital and at home, from your health visitors, maternity support workers, breastfeeding peer supporters.

    The main principles are:

    • Position your baby close to you and get comfy. Take a moment to have a think about how to make yourself as comfortable as possible. Do you need a pillow under your arm? Would it be nice to lie on your side?
    • Allow your baby’s head to move. It may be best to stabilise their shoulders and neck. It’s best to avoid having your hand or anything else touching their head.  
    • Get baby close enough to your breast that their chin is indenting your breast
    • Try to line up their nose to your nipple – so that when they attach to you, they get lots of your breast tissue in their mouth rather than just your nipple, as this can be very sore!
    • When they open their mouth wide (you may need to give this some time or give your breast a gentle squeeze so that baby can smell the milk) move baby towards your breast in a swift movement so that they get as much in their mouth as possible.
    • Finally, once baby is on, make sure you’re comfortable again. If it’s painful, it may be that baby didn’t get enough of your breast inside their mouth. You can always try again!

    For a printable step-by-step guide on positioning and attachment: