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Effective Breastfeeding

What is effective breastfeeding?

A baby that breastfeeds effectively cues (shows readiness) for feedings, is in a good feeding position, latches-on (attach) deeply at the breast, and moves milk forward from the breast and into his/her mouth.

Crying is a late feeding cue, and many babies have difficulty latching once they become frustrated and begin to cry.

Illustration of breastfeeding, cradle position

Illustration of breastfeeding, cross-cradle position

Illustration of breastfeeding, football/clutch position

Illustration of breastfeeding, side-lying using modified cradle position

For all positions, bring your baby to the breast - not the breast to the baby - by sitting in a roomy and comfortable chair or sofa and using a bed pillow, sofa cushion, or special breastfeeding pillow on your lap to raise the baby. Your baby must be held in good alignment if he/she is to suck, swallow, and breathe during feedings. When in good alignment, you should be able to draw a straight line down your baby's body from earlobe to hip no matter which feeding position you use. You should not be able to see the baby's arm closest to your body when using a cradle or cross-cradle hold.

Illustration of breastfeeding, latch-on

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