A step by step guide to breastfeeding

Breastfeeding can take a while to establish so give it some time. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting your baby latched on and feeding well.

  1. Start with your baby lying on their side. Hold them really close so they’re facing your breast and have their nose to your nipple.
  2. Your baby will reach towards your nipple, with their mouth open wide, they may also put their tongue out ready.
  3. When your baby’s mouth is open wide, bring their shoulders in close so their head tilts backwards as they come to the breast.
  4. Your baby’s chin will now be against your breast, and there’ll be a gap between your breast and your baby’s nose. This position shouldn’t be uncomfortable or painful. After a few quick sucks, your baby will slow down into a deeper rhythm and should be relaxed and swallowing.
  5. When your baby first starts to suck, your milk may begin to flow very quickly and so they may pull away. Don’t worry – just repeat the steps above to start again.
  6. If it’s hurting at all, encourage your baby off your breast by slipping your little finger gently into the corner of their mouth to release the suction.

You’ve got it!

For further information, there is a short video on the Best Beginnings website showing a baby being positioned well on the breast and feeding nicely.

Useful links


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Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust runs a confidential secure text messaging service for parents of children aged 0-19 years called Chat Health. The service operates Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, excluding bank holidays. All texts will be responded to by a public health nurse (health visitor/school nurse) within 24 hours. Outside of the service working hours, you’ll receive a message back to inform you that your text will be responded to once the line reopens.

Should you require urgent health advice in the meantime, please contact your GP, visit an NHS walk-in centre or call NHS 111. For emergencies, dial 999 or visit A&E.

Leicester City: text 07520 615381

Leicestershire & Rutland: text 07520 615382

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