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Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

Breastfeeding Techniques for Optimal Success

Breastfeeding Tips for Optimal SuccessYour new baby has arrived and it’s time to begin to breastfeed. How can you help ensure a successful breastfeeding relationship? Let me share with you some techniques that will help you to have optimal success.

Breastfeeding Technique: Latch

The first and most important is the baby’s latch. Latching on should not be painful. You may feel  some tugging and slight tenderness but if your baby is latched on correctly it should not hurt.

Here is one technique to use to properly latch your newborn onto your breast.

Hold your baby so his body angles across yours, his hip resting on or near your thigh, with his whole front against your front. Babies latch by feel so his face or cheek should be touching your breast. Babies need a big mouthful. They need to take more than just the nipple into their mouths. If they just get the nipple they it will be uncomfortable and may hurt!

Think of your breast like a big, fat sandwich. Hold it as if you were holding a sandwich and offer it to your baby. This helps baby to grasp more breast tissue. When you eat a big sandwich you keep your thumbs back on the sandwich so there is more room for your lower jaw to take a bite. When your baby takes the breast in his mouth he will need to lift his chin so that his head tips back a little and his chin is in contact with your breast. Also, tilting your nipple so baby gets more of your breast will help.

Remember, make sure your baby is taking in a lot of the areola around the nipple and not just the nipple as this will cause pain.

Breastfeeding Technique: Positions

Now, let’s talk about a few different positions and holds that will also ensure a successful breastfeeding relationship.

The 4 most common ones are

  1. The cradle hold – hold your baby’s front against yours by holding him behind baby’s back and shoulders, his head resting on your forearm or wrist.
  2. Across the chest hold– works well with small babies; hold baby with the arm opposite from the breast he is going to latch onto. Hold baby underneath your breasts, his hip resting on your thigh. Your hand supports baby’s neck, as your arm keeps him against you. Baby’s chest will be against your breast.
  3. The clutch hold– great for mother’s who have C-sections; position baby next to you, his front against your side, your hand under baby’s shoulders and neck. Baby’s body will be supported between your arm and the side of your body. Baby will be slightly below your breasts, which will be helpful if your breasts are larger.
  4. Side-lying– a position helpful for baby’s who are having trouble with other positions and great for use at night. Lay baby on his side putting baby’s nose or eye level with your nipple. Using the sandwich hold which was explained earlier will work well in this position. As baby latches on press the middle of his back more snug against you.

Breastfeeding Techniques: Use of Accessories

Another important breastfeeding technique is a footstool for when you are sitting up and nursing. This will raise your lap to support your arms and help relax your back.

Using a Boppy Pillow or other type of firm pillow can be useful to support your arm and bring baby closer to your breast.

Keep baby close or skin to skin. Babies are much more calm and stress free when kept near you.

And although it may not be a technique per say getting as much rest as possible will ensure you are successful! The old adage; sleep when baby sleeps is true.

Enjoy your breastfeeding journey!

Ambra lives in the great state of Texas with her 11 children and amazing husband of 18 years!  She is a professional mama with daily duties including but not limited to; diaper changing, nose wiping, breastfeeding, jungle gym, maid, teacher, fitness instructor, friend, & confidant. You can find her at LivinginLilliput & Wombmama's UnaBirth


  1. So happy I found your site! I’m a momma of two currently breastfeeding number 2. I have no idea how to start a blog, but I did. I’m still navigating my way through it. Can’t wait to explore your site. I am passionate about breastfeeding and live in a rural area where there is very little help. My goal is to have a beautiful resourceful blog.

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