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Latching On and Positioning

Latching On

  • Your baby’s mouth should open wide during latch-on.
  • It is important to get baby attached to the areola, with the nipple drawn into the mouth behind jaw lines. This ensures proper attachment. You should see your baby’s jaw, ear or temple move with proper attachment.
  • Keep baby cuddled close to you while nursing. The cradle, football and lying-down positions for nursing are described below. 
  • You should hear your baby swallow.
  • When baby is done nursing, you need to break the suction created in your baby’s mouth around your nipple. To do this, put your finger into the corner of baby’s mouth as you withdraw your nipple.
  • Avoid using pacifiers.

Breast-Feeding Positions

Breastfeeding: Cradle Position
Breastfeeding: Football/Clutch Position
Breastfeeding: Lying Down Position

Cradle Position

  1. Place a pillow or two in your lap to support your baby.
  2. Place your baby’s head on the crook of your arm.
  3. Make sure your baby is turned toward you–chest to chest–at breast level.
  4. Support your breast with your hand in an “L” or “C” position, thumb on top of breast, fingers below, away from areola.
  5. Tickle your baby’s lower lip until the baby opens WIDE, then quickly pull the baby onto your breast. Be patient. This may take a minute.
  1. Make sure your baby’s lips are behind the nipple, encircling the areola.
  2. The tip of your baby’s nose should be touching the breast.

Football/Clutch Position

  1. Put a pillow or two at your side to help support your arm and your baby.
  1. Support your baby’s neck and the lower back of the head in your hand, with your forearm supporting the baby’s upper body against your side.
  2. Follow steps 4-7 under Cradle Position.

Lying down position

  1. Lie on your side with pillows supporting your back and your top leg, which is bent forward.
  1. Place your baby on its side facing you.
  2. Follow the steps 4-7under Cradle Position.