Should you need urgent health advice please contact your GP or call NHS 111. In an emergency please visit A&E or call 999

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Positioning and attachment

Good positioning at the breast will result in good attachment, ensuring that the nipple is towards the top of baby’s mouth, and quite far back. So if attachment is good, the milk transfer will be more effective, meaning supply will be boosted (more milk will be removed, so more will be made). Feeds should also be comfortable and pain free. Below are some videos about effective versus ineffective attachment:

In order to achieve good positioning and attachment, it helps to remember CHIN:

  • Close – Your baby needs to be as close as possible to you, ensure baby’s arms are either side of the breast, like they are hugging you – not tucked down by their side or in front of their chest.
  • Head free – In order for your baby to get as much of the breast tissue in their mouth as possible (meaning the nipple is towards the back of the mouth), they need to open their mouth extremely wide. Push your own head forward and try to open your mouth – It’s impossible to open it really wide! You could try placing your index finger by one of baby’s ears and your thumb by the other, making a v shape. This supports baby’s neck and shoulders, without restricting the head.
  • In line – your baby should be turned in towards you, so that ear, shoulder and hip are in line. If your baby’s body is turned out, their neck will be twisted, making it difficult for them to feed.
  • Nose to nipple – your baby needs to come onto the breast from below the nipple. If you place your nipple just below your baby’s nose, this should encourage them to bring their head back (as long as it’s free!) and open their mouth really wide.

What to look for when baby is on the breast:

  • Wide open mouth
  • Chin leads
  • Bottom lip touches breast away from base of nipple
  • Nipple towards roof of mouth
  • More areola (if visible) above top lip
  • Rounded cheeks
  • Chin indents breast
  • Suck swallow
  • Content baby stays on breast
  • No pain
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South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust runs a confidential secure text messaging service for parents of children aged 0-5 years called ChatHealth. The service operates Monday to Friday between 9am and 4pm, excluding bank holidays. All texts will be responded to by a health visitor 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 service 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.

This page was last reviewed on 03-11-2021

This page will be next reviewed on 03-11-2024