Correct Attachment (Latching)
and Fixing

Correct Attachment or Latching is very important. After the mother has achieved correct positioning, the next stage is to latch baby on to the breast. 

  • Hand express a few drops of colostrum/foremilk, rub onto the areola leaving a few drops on the nipple. 

  • Brush the baby’s lips against the nipple, this will stimulate and trigger the rooting reflex in the baby. 

  • If encouraged correctly in the early days, the baby’s mouth will gape wide to accept the breast. 

  • Be patient!! Wait until the baby’s mouth is at 45 degree angle and quickly bring the baby towards the breast.

  • The baby should be latched on correctly.


Observe the following:

  • Wide mouth. The nipple and majority of areola disappeared inside baby’s mouth. 

  • Bottom lip curled back (sometimes difficult to see yourself). 

  • Neck supported. Baby’s head should not be held into the breast as he must be able to adjust position to keep his airway clear. 

  • Baby’s head and back in a straight line facing you directly. 

  • Back supported and his bottom tucked around your abdomen. This ensures correct position maintained. 

  • Eye contact between mum and baby possible. 

  • When baby is full should turn away from breast, wind and offer 2nd side.


Pattern of successful breastfeeding

  • At the beginning of each feed a typical pattern follows the latching on process. 

  • Starts with short period of non-suckling – quick shallow sucks without swallowing. This stimulates the breast into action.

  • Suckling pattern changes to a period of continuous, slow, deep suckling followed by pauses. 

  • The period of suckling becomes shorter and the pauses longer. 

  • Eventually the baby lets go of the breast and turns away. This signals that the baby has had all the hind milk he requires. He should be full and contented...

  • He should then be offered the other breast.



Correct fixing is the vital factor for successful breastfeeding. The majority of mothers today have not observed their family members breastfeeding.

In comparison artificial feeding is seen on a daily basis, therefore mothers tend to hold their babies as if they were artificially feeding. The breast is held as if it was an artificial bottle and the nipple is place inside the baby’s mouth as if it was an artificial teat.


Baby not well positioned

In this image, the baby not well positioned and is nipple feeding, so it is unable to ‘strip’ the milk from the breast. Baby would become lethargic or unsettled if this were to continue.

If this position is not corrected it would lead to sore nipples and engorged breasts, the most common reasons why mothers stop breastfeeding.


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Baby breast feeding correctly

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