7.1.2  Four signs of good attachment

Once good positioning is established, show the mother how to help the newborn to attach to the nipple. She should:

  • Touch her newborn’s lips with her nipple
  • Wait until her newborn’s mouth is opening wide
  • Move her newborn quickly onto her breast, aiming the newborn’s lower lip well below the nipple. Then check for signs of good attachment (see Figure 7.2).
Two images side by side. The image on the left shows the baby with a good mouthful of breast and the image on the left shows a baby that does not have enough breast in its mouth.
Figure 7.2  (a) This baby has a good mouthful of breast; (b) This baby does not have enough breast in its mouth.

The four signs of good attachment are:

  • Mouth widely opened
  • Lower lip turned upward
  • Chin touching the breast
  • More of the areola (the dark ring around the nipple) is seen above the baby’s mouth than below it.

Advise the mother to empty one breast before switching to the other, so that the newborn gets the nutrient-rich hind milk (last milk), which is produced when the breast is almost empty.

7.1.1  Four signs of good positioning

7.1.3  Effective suckling