Correct positioning and latching on for breastfeeding
Most importantly, make sure you’re sitting in a comfortable chair with a glass of water - breastfeeding’s thirsty work. Also, keep a pen and paper close by to record which side you fed on and for how long each. You’ll want to make sure you feed equally from both sides to even out milk production.
Find a comfortable position for the baby to feed in which allows for easy access and is comfortable for you to hold for the feed. We’ve found the cradle and football holds to be the easiest with newborns.
With one hand, support your breast by cupping underneath. Keep your fingers away from your nipple. Hold your baby by putting the heel of your other hand between your baby’s shoulders, holding him or her with the palm of your hand. Let the baby’s head fall between your thumb and forefinger. Make sure the baby’s neck is in extension, with his or her chin pointing at the breast and eyes looking up.
Point your nipple at his or her nose and quickly bring the baby to your breast. Do not bring your breast to the baby. The baby’s bottom lip should take in about 2cm of your breast below the nipple and his or her chin should be buried in your breast.
We strongly recommend seeing a lactation consultant to make sure you have the latch correct, since an incorrect latch or unlatch is the main reason for nipple pain.
More breastfeeding articles:
Different breastfeeding positions
Breast care for optimum breastfeeding
This article was written by Linda Drummond for Kidspot, New Zealand’s leading pregnancy and parenting resource.