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Positioning and latching

  • 0-1 Years
  • Feeding and eating
Mum sitting on sofa breastfeeding her baby with the dad sitting next to her with his arm round her.

Positioning is how you hold your baby as they are breastfeeding. Latching is also known as attachment or fixing. This is how your baby takes the breast into their mouth. Positioning can help make the attachment more effective and comfortable for both you and your baby.

Benefits of good positioning and latching

Some people who breastfeed may find it easier to get the correct position and latch. However, for most people who breastfeed it can be difficult.

When you are learning how to breastfeed, getting the positioning and latch right will help:

    • establish a good milk supply
    • make feeding pain-free
    • ensure your baby is getting enough milk

Issues from poor positioning and latching

Breastfeeding should be comfortable and pain-free for the breastfeeding parent. A number of difficulties breastfeeding parents experience comes from feeding their baby in a uncomfortable or ineffective way.

Below are some of the issues that can come from poor positioning, leading to your baby not latching well. 

Breastfeeding parent

Painful feeds

Sore or cracked nipples

Build up of milk within the breast (engorged breasts)

Clogged ducts or mastitis

Baby

Starts to feed, then pulls away

Frequent or lengthy feeds

Slow weight gain

Getting a good latch

The acronym CHIN can be used in all breastfeeding positions. Try to keep CHIN in mind when breastfeeding,

Different breastfeeding positions

There are a variety of positions you can breastfeed in. Read more about breastfeeding positions

Below is a video produced by Global Health Media demonstrating various breastfeeding positions.


Last reviewed: 1 November, 2023

Information

Who can help

If you have any questions or concerns about your positioning or attachment, speak to your midwife or health visitor who will be able to offer advice and support.

You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 or Text Us on 07520 649887 to start a conversation.

Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays).

Information

Breastfeeding support helplines

If you have a question or concern outside our opening hours, try contacting one of the following helplines which are dedicated to help parents breastfeed. 

National Breastfeeding Helpline: 0300 100 0212, open every day 9.30am to 9.30pm

www.nationalbreastfeedinghelpline.org.uk

 

Association of Breastfeeding Mother: 0300 330 5453, open every day 9.30am to 10.30pm

www.abm.me.uk/get-breastfeeding-support 

 

The breastfeeding network supporter line (in Bengali/Sylheti): 0300 456 2421; open every day 09.30am to 09.30pm

www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/contact-us/helplines 

 

NCT Breastfeeding Line: 0300 330 0771 (option 1), open every day 8.00am to 12.00am 

www.nct.org.uk/about-us/contact-us 

 

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