• Amy Schecter, MD, IBCLC

Tried and True Positioning Tips

Ask 5 lactation consultants how to position your baby to breastfeed, and you may get 5 different suggestions. Proper, comfortable positioning will always have a few things in common. This video demonstrates latching and positioning of a 2 week old infant moments after frenotomy. His mouth is numb from the procedure, but with effective positioning, he has no difficulty breastfeeding. He was not latching at the breast prior to release of his ties.

  1. Use pillows to support baby and lift him to the level of your nipple.

  2. Bring his tummy to tummy with you, keeping his backbone in a straight line.

  3. Slide him down toward his feet so that he has to tilt his head back and look up at the breast. He should not have his chin tucked in to his chest. By tilting his head back, he will open his jaw even wider. (Try this yourself by tilting your head back. Do you feel your jaw want to open?)

  4. If you want to use your hand to shape your breast, be sure that your fingers are shaping it to properly fit into his mouth. This means that your fingers should be placed parallel to his lips. In cross cradle position (used in this video), your hand will be positioned in a U-shape (not a C-shape around the side).

  5. Support your baby from behind his neck and shoulders. By pulling him in close from behind his shoulders, he will tip his head further back to open wide. In contrast, if you pull him in close by holding his head, he will end up tilting his head downward, tucking in his chin, and he won't be able to open as wide.

Happy Latching!




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