How to breastfeed

baby breastfeeding

Breastfeeding takes practice. It takes time to work out which feeding and burping positions feel best. There aren't 'correct' positions – it's about what feels most comfortable for you both, so try them all out to see which feels best. Remember to offer both breasts and switch breasts after each feed.

  1. Hold your baby's whole body close with their nose level with your nipple.
2. Let your baby's head tip back a little so that their top lip can brush against your nipple. This should help your baby to make a wide, open mouth.
3. When your baby's mouth opens wide, their chin should be able to touch your breast first, with their head tipped back so that their tongue can reach as much breast as possible.
4. With your baby's chin firmly touching your breast and their nose clear, their mouth should be wide open. You should see much more of the darker nipple skin above your baby's top lip than below their bottom lip. Your baby's cheeks will look full and rounded as they feed.
The Breastfeeding Friend from Start4Life, available 24 / 7, has lots of useful information and expert advice to share with you.

Further help

If you find that your nipples are sore, have a look at our advice and tips on how to soothe sore nipples. For further help with latching on, watch our breastfeeding video:

For confidential breastfeeding information and support, call the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212. Lines are open 9:30am to 9:30pm every day.

Sign up now for our pregnancy, baby and toddler guide

Get personalised emails for trusted NHS advice, videos and tips on your pregnancy week by week, birth and parenthood.

Get weekly emails