HomeHealth articlesbreastfeedingWhat Are the Breastfeeding Techniques?

Breastfeeding Techniques - Recommendations, Techniques, and Advantages.

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The latch of the infant onto the breast is crucial to effective breastfeeding. Read the article to learn about various breastfeeding techniques.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Arjun Chaudhari

Published At January 19, 2023
Reviewed AtFebruary 7, 2024


Breast milk offers adequate nutrients for the child and aids in sickness prevention. Breastfed babies have fewer ear infections and diarrhea than non-breastfed newborns. As a result, they see the physician less frequently for common childhood diseases, have fewer allergies, are less likely to develop obesity and diabetes, have a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and have better IQs than formula-fed babies. The manner or position in which the breastfeeding and latch of the infant onto the breast are crucial to effective breastfeeding. There are various techniques of breastfeeding along with their alternatives.

What Are the Recommendations for Infant Feeding Techniques?

The Infant feeding techniques that are recommended include:

  1. Breastfeeding should begin within half an hour of normal birth and no later than four hours post- cesarean surgery.

  2. Exclusive breastfeeding for up to six months should be done.

  3. The beginning of supplemental feeding at six months should be started.

  4. Breastfeeding should be done for at least the second year after birth.

What Are the Common Techniques for Breastfeeding?

  • Cradle Hold Technique: This position is commonly employed once the baby has been breastfed for a few weeks and is more secure in the nursing grip. The baby is lying across the mother's front at breast level, stomach toward the chest. The baby's head will rest in the crook of the elbow, on the same side from which the mother will nurse. If there is a need to assist the infant latch on properly, use the opposite hand to grasp the breast.

  • Cross-Cradle Posture: This position is frequently the most beneficial to mothers immediately following birth and until they gain confidence in properly latching their infant. Many parents find it unpleasant at first, but after they realize how it helps them to use both hands more efficiently, they get more comfortable with it. The mother will support her baby with the arm opposite the side she will be feeding on, while she will support the breast with the hand opposite the side she will be feeding on. This position benefits the mother of a newborn or premature infant.

  • The Football Pose: The baby will be lying on the side, beneath the mother's arm, with the mother's hand supporting the back of the baby's neck. The baby's bottom should brush up against whatever is against the mother. Make sure to bend the baby's legs at the hip so that it does not press its feet against whatever the mother is leaning against, as this can affect how he latches. This position is ideal for women who have had a cesarean delivery or have huge breasts.

  • Side-Lying: Place the infant on their side with a cushion behind their back for support. The mother should also lie on the side with the baby facing her. For support, place a cushion behind the mother's back or between her legs. The nose of the infant should be parallel to the mother's breast.

  • Semi-Reclining: The mother leans back, and the infant is usually prone, lying against her chest. There are alternative postures that can accommodate both the mother and child.

What Are the Signs of a Good Latch?

Signs of a good latch in an infant include:

  1. When the lower lip is pushed down, the tongue is visible.

  2. Instead of a quick chin movement, there is a circular movement of the jaw.

  3. The cheeks are rounded.

  4. There are no clicking or slapping noises.

  5. Swallowing can be heard.

  6. Chin is resting on the mother's breast.

  7. When the infant is born, the nipple is not flattened or misshaped.

  8. The infant will show indicators of satiety or satisfaction at the end of the meal.

  9. The infant appears calm, has open hands, or falls asleep.

Breastfeeding should never be painful. A good latch will assist in reducing pain. Other issues, including cracked and painful nipples, might arise if the infant does not latch on properly. However, breastfeeding can be a lovely, pain-free bonding experience between the mother and the child once the infant has a healthy latch. Lactation consultants are available at many hospitals if there is a need for further support.

What Is the Normal Progression of Breastfeeding?

During the initial several hours and days after giving birth, the mother and child learn to nurse together. A newborn infant should not be separated from its mother unless the separation is for medical grounds, and the newborn should be in skin-to-skin contact with the mother until the first month of life. The normal progression of breastfeeding goes through two early stages:

  • The Initial Stage: During the initial stage, the infant latches to the breast during self-attached nursing. Then, it self-attaches to the breast without help employing the crawling-stepping reaction.

  • The Second Stage: The mother and infant are in collaborative nursing during the second stage. They collaborate to obtain the latch and feed if the newborn is placed skin-to-skin without separation until self-attachment is achieved.

What Are the Advantages of Breastfeeding to the Infant?

  • Breast milk is high in essential fatty acids, lactose, long-chain fatty acids, phospholipids, and polyunsaturated fats (LCP).

  • It also provides amylase, lipoprotein lipase, and lactoperoxidase. These enzymes improve digestion and also serve as prebiotics and protection against germs.

  • LCPs enhance brain development and lessen the possibility of dyslexia and hyperactivity. Biochemically, breast milk outperforms artificial milk. It is mostly whey protein (80 %) and is high in lactoferrin and lactoglobulin.

What Are the Advantages of Breastfeeding to the Mother?

Breastfeeding is also advantageous to the mother in the following ways:

  • First, it lowers the risk of breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer.

  • Second, it aids in child spacing and postpartum hemorrhage reduction.

  • Third, it increases postpartum weight reduction and uterine involution.

  • Each year, the chance of breast ptosis and shape alteration grows. Nursing does not show an increase in these symptoms during pregnancy effects. Expectant moms should be comforted that nursing does not appear harmful to their breasts.

  • Any misconception that nursing will impact the mother's breasts must be thoroughly refuted.


The manner or position in which the breastfeeding and latch of the infant onto the breast are crucial to effective breastfeeding. There are various techniques of breastfeeding along with their alternatives. The infant must expand his mouth wide enough to accept both the nipple and portion of the areola (the black region surrounding the nipple) into his mouth for proper latch-on. The baby's mouth corners should be at a wide angle, and his top and lower lips should be outside his mouth. Breastfeeding is physiologically, economically, and practically advantageous. The American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) has developed recommendations for practitioners to spend time supporting breastfeeding in their practice adequately. Health professionals are responsible for preparing moms for nursing and promoting and protecting breastfeeding habits in society.

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Dr. Arjun Chaudhari
Dr. Arjun Chaudhari

Obstetrics and Gynecology


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