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Latch and position

A Good Latch, Right from the Start

The one thing to remember is that if it hurts, it isn’t a good latch no matter how good it looks.

  1. Whatever feeding position you use, be comfortable.
  2. Hold baby tummy to mummy, nose to nipple.
  3. Bring the baby towards the nipple and tickle his lips with it. Wait for a very wide-open mouth, like a yawn.
  4. Bring the baby onto the breast. His chin will touch first and will be pushed into your breast, while his nose will be just clear of your breast. More of your breast is covered by his lower jaw and lip than by the upper jaw.
  5. If you have pain, try two approaches:
    a) Move the baby’s position a bit, to reduce pulling on your nipple.
    b) Take the baby off. Break suction by easing your finger into the corner of the baby’s mouth. Start over.



Use as many different positions as you feel comfortable with. For all positions:

cross_cradleCross Cradle Hold

This is very helpful during the early days, since there is a little better control of baby’s head while you both are learning.



woman showing how to breastfeed using the cradle hold

Cradle Hold

Baby is held across your lap, supported by one arm. The opposite hand cups the breast. When baby opens wide, bring him onto the breast. Once he settles you’ll have one hand free for something else (a glass of water, telephone, books, the remote…).


footballFootball Hold

Easier for moms who’ve had a Caesarean Section as there is no pressure on the incision. Baby can be placed on a pillow or two beside you. This will bring him up to the level of the breast. Mom’s arm supports his back. You may need another pillow once baby is pulled onto the breast. Be careful not to lean! This will last only while baby is short enough that his feet don’t reach the back of the chair.




Have baby lie beside mom, turned onto side, close to mom, with nose at level of nipple. This takes a little practice but is very helpful when mom is tired or sore.


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