How do I breastfeed?

Tips for successful breastfeeding

Follow these tips and you’ll soon be breastfeeding with the best of them!

  • Make yourself comfortable in a chair that supports your back nicely.
  • Hold your baby close, facing your body, and try to keep their head, shoulders and body in a straight line.
  • Line up your baby's nose with your nipple - and then give their mouth a little nudge with it!
  • When their mouth opens wide, bring your baby to your breast (not the other way round).
  • You'll know if your baby is latched on well if their bottom lip is curled back and the only visible area of your areola (the dark skin around your nipple) is above their top lip. And listen for the sound of them swallowing, too.
  • If your baby keeps putting their hands in the way, try wrapping your baby so that their arms are lying at their side.

Don’t panic if your baby pauses from time to time - that’s natural. And if you find breastfeeding a bit uncomfortable, it could either be because of your position or because your baby’s not latching on properly. If it’s your position, you can take the strain off by using a V-shaped pillow to rest your baby on. You can see from these pictures that there are a few different positions you can use when feeding your baby. You'll probably soon discover one you both find comfortable.

If you think your baby’s not latching on properly, move them away from your breast and try positioning them again. If this doesn't solve the problem, speak to your health visitor or take a look at our information about solving breastfeeding problems for some handy hints.

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