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Proper Technique for Breasfeeding

To ensure a successful breastfeeding, your baby should be put properly to the breast. Usually, positioning and attaching your baby to the breast comes naturally, but some mothers and babies need time and practice to get it right. The following tips may help.

  • Positioning
  • Attachment
  • Signs of poor attachment
  • Assessing whether your baby is feeding well


  • Hold your baby close, with the baby’s body turned towards you, facing you or your breast.
  • Make sure your baby’s head and body are in a straight line.
  • Firmly support the baby’s back and buttock.
  • You can position your baby in many ways as long as your are comfortable.
  • Sitting up using one or two extra pillows to support your baby.
  • Lying down on your side with your baby facing you. (Take care not to fall asleep in this position, to avoid smothering the baby).


  • Touch your baby’s mouth with your nipple. Wait until your baby open his mouth widely.
  • Bring your baby to the breast (not the breast to the baby). Move your baby’s whole body toward the breast, not only the head. Make sure he takes as much as possible of brown area (areola) around the nipple.
  • You can help your baby latch-on by holding the breast with your free hand.But make sure to keep your thumb well back from the areola and does not pressed down on the breast.

Signs of poor attachment

When breastfeeding is going well, your nipple will never damage because it is so far back in the baby’s mouth. Most of the problems faced by the mothers are due to incorrect positioning and attachment. Here are few signs of poor attachment which might cause problem to you while you are breastfeeding:

  • Your nipple looks flattened or striped as it leaves your baby’s mouth at the end of the feed
  • You feel pain in the nipples during and after feeds
  • Your breast may be engorged
  • The will be inefficient removal of milk from the breast

The picture shows a baby who is not well attached to the breast. Poor attachment can lead to problems like breast engorgement and sore nipple.

Assessing whether your baby is feeding well

Here is what your baby should look like when he is feeding well:

  • His mouth is open wide
  • His chin is touching the breast
  • His lower lip is curled outward
  • His nose lies right against your breast, and he is free to breath.
  • He suckles, pauses, and suckles again – in slow, deep sucks
  • You may hear your baby swallowing
The diagram shows what goes on inside your baby’s mouth when breastfeeding properly.

  • Key :
    • Nipple
    • Areola and breast tissue, with underlying milk ducts
    • Baby’s tongue
    • Breast
    • Baby’s throat

The picture shows a baby who is properly attached attach to the breast.


Last reviewed : 02 October 2009
Writer : Zalma Bt. Abdul Razak
Zuhaida Bt. Harun
Nazli Suhardi B. Ibrahim