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Breastfeeding Basics

Proper positioning can make all the difference in successful breastfeeding. If your baby is properly positioned at the breast, you’ll feel better and your baby will be more satisfied. Start by making yourself comfortable: Sit up in bed or in a rocking chair or armchair, and use a bed pillow or nursing pillow to support your baby at breast level. Keep a glass of water and a healthy snack within reach so you can get nutrition while your baby does. To begin, tease your baby onto the breast. Gently tickle her lips with your nipple until she opens her mouth very wide (like a yawn or a cry).

When she opens wide, use your arm (which is placed across your baby’s upper back) to hug her onto the breast, quickly and deeply. This is more effective than pushing your breast into your baby’s mouth. Once your baby is latched on, continue to hold her close to you.

For Proper latch-on, your baby’s mouth should cover the nipple and part of the areola. The baby should take in more breast near his lower lip, and you should see part of your areola above his top lip. If you feel a pinching sensation, your baby is not latched properly. Break the suction by putting your finger gently between his gums. Then start again. Don’t worry if proper latch-on takes several tries at first. Take a deep breath, remain patient, and keep trying.

The people at Breastfeeding101 are not medical professionals. We are moms here to show support. Please consult your physician or LC for any medical questions you might have.