Positioning and attachment

Positioning ImageGood attachment can avoid many breastfeeding issues that can occur in the early weeks. There is no right or wrong way to hold your baby, so make sure that you feel comfortable and experiment with different positions.

Try following these key points for effective attachment:

  • Always move baby to breast - not breast to baby 
  • Baby's top lip or nose should be aligned with your nipple
  • Baby will open mouth wide on instinct and take a big mouthful of breast from underneath the nipple
  • It's okay for baby to root around, nod, lick and explore before latching on

Once baby is latched on, look for the following signs:

  • The chin is touching the breast and the lower lip curled back
  • Mouth is wide open
  • More of the areola (the dark area around your nipple) showing above baby's top lip
  • Full, rounded cheeks
  • Comfortable and not painful
  • Baby takes long rhythmic sucks and swallows with short pauses
  • Baby's jaw opens and closes all the way to the ear

From Bump To Breastfeeding: Graphic of a Baby Attaching on the Breast from Best Beginnings on Vimeo.


Remember successful attachment does not always happen the first time, so do persevere. Both you and your baby are learning. Click here for more details and photographs.

If you need more support and guidance speak to your healthcare professional.


Cheshire East Residents only:

Cherubs Helpline     (9am - 5pm Mon - Fri):  03001234579

Leighton Hospital Crewe: 01270 612287

Macclesfield District General Hospital: 01625 661153



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