Baby Friendly Manitoba:  Information for Parents

Breastfeeding:  Comfortable Positioning and Latch

Comfortable Positions

The position you use isn’t important as long as both you and your baby are comfortable, relaxed, and your baby is able to latch onto the breast. You may find that the modified cradle (cross-cradle) or football hold is easiest to use until you and your baby learn how to latch on well.

See also: 

Latching On

Correctly latching your baby onto the breast is an important step in successful breastfeeding. A poor latch may cause sore nipples, a hungry baby, and a smaller milk supply. If you feel pain when your baby is on the breast (not a passing discomfort) a por latch may be the problem. Gently remove your baby from the breast and start again. To take your baby off your breast and break the suction from her sucking, gently place a finger in the corner of your baby’s mouth.

How Can I Get a Good Latch?
  • Unwrap your baby. Blankets make it hard for baby to be close enough to latch well.
  • Turn your baby’s whole body to face you (tummy to tummy).
  • Support your breast but keep your fingers well back from the areola (brown part).
  • Aim your nipple high in your baby’s mouth.
  • Touch the baby’s lips with your breast to help her open her mouth wide.
  • Wait until your baby opens her mouth wide.
  • Bring your baby in close to you.
  • Put your hand on her shoulders, not her head.
When Is My Baby Well Latched?
  • The initial latch may hurt but you shouldn’t feel pain in the nipple area. You may feel a tug.
  • Your baby’s chin is touching your breast and her nose is slightly away from the breast.
  • Your baby begins to suck. Her cheeks will be full and rounded. If there are dimples in the cheeks, the baby may not be latched well.
  • While sucking, your baby may suck quickly, then more slowly, with short rest pauses.
  • You may be able to hear the baby swallowing. Listen for a “ca” sound. You will hear this more easily when your milk increases.
  • Sometimes you may hear your baby gulping, especially if you have lots of milk.
  • Clicking or smacking sounds may mean that your baby is not latched correctly.
  • Your nipple looks rounded, not flattened, when your baby comes off your breast.
  • You can’t easily slide her off the breast.

NEXT:  The Let-Down Reflex