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Breastfeeding essentials

It is recommended by the World Health Organisation that your baby is exclusively breastfed for the first six months. Following this, breastmilk alongside foods is recommended until they are two years and over.

Getting the basics right is so important when breastfeeding. If you can get both positioning and attachment correct you will be well on your way to a successful feed. It is also useful for your partner to also know what to look out for. Have a look at the checklist below.


  • Skin-to-skin is always a great way to feed your baby
  • Ensure your baby’s head and body are straight
  • Your baby should be able to move their head back if they need to
  • You should be comfortable
  • When positioning your baby their nose should be at your nipple


  • Your baby needs a wide mouth to attach to the breast
  • When attached you will notice his/her cheeks are rounded
  • There will be more areola visible above your baby’s mouth than below
  • The sucking pattern will start with initial sucks and these will slow to deeper sucks with pauses
  • When your baby is attached it may feel initially slightly sore, however this should settle. If it does continue then put your little finger into the side of their mouth to take them off the breast and start the process again.

The below video is a great visual guide for getting the positioning and attachment correct:

Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative | Positioning and attachment - YouTube