Painful Feeds? You Need to Know about Baby Self Attachment

Painful Feeds? You Need to Know about Baby Self Attachment


Are you struggling to find a comfortable latch? Is your nipple pinched after each feed or shaped like a tube of new lipstick?


You may want to try what Lactation Consultants call “self attachment”. These fancy words simply mean:

“Get comfortable and allow your baby to latch himself!”


Some mothers get their most comfortable latch ever using this simple technique. Other moms love it as it takes the pressure off their stitches.


This following short video by our Australian friend and fellow IBCLC, The Milk Meg demonstrates how it can work. Some important things to notice as you watch:

  • Self attachment seems to work best when you and baby are in skin to skin contact (Baby in just a diaper against your bare chest). This helps to encourage your baby’s natural feeding instincts.
  • Lay back in a comfortable semi-reclined position. Think about how you would sit if you were relaxing to read a book or watch a movie. Use pillows as needed to make yourself comfortable.
  • Support your baby in whatever way feels most natural to you. Try to use your instincts rather than thinking about a special technique.
  • Watch how baby uses his arms and legs to get into position.
  • Once baby is latched, you may wonder if he will be able to breathe. The baby will adjust himself to a lift his nose away from the breast.
  • It is heart melting to see the baby looking straight into his mother’s eyes at the end of the video!



Please note: While we have seen self attachment work wonderfully well for many moms and babies, there are a few babies that seem to find this position uncomfortable. It is important to watch YOUR baby and see what works best for the two of you.

Learn other breastfeeding positions to try by watching the free preview lesson in the Simply Breastfeeding course. (Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the preview button.)

If you are struggling, please contact an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in your area.




thumbnail-cindy-and-janaCindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.


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