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You may think an article about breastfeeding positioning isn't the most important thing you'll read this year but if you do intend to feed your baby naturally, it may just be. Breastfeeding can be painful, frustrating, ineffective or all three rolled into one. One of the most joyful experiences you will have as a woman can quickly turn into one of the most loathed. The secret to avoid this is to adopt the correct positioning from day one. Follow these simple steps and you should have no problems at all...

1. Position the baby in your arms on your lap with her mouth directly in line with the areola.

2. Gently squeeze the areola with your fingers to try to make it the same size as your baby's mouth.

3. Slowly bring your baby's mouth towards your breast so her tongue is just below your nipple.

4. Gently guide your breast into her mouth making sure she takes in the whole areola and not just the nipple.

5. Ensure your baby is milking your breast rather than just sucking. Not only will sucking make your nipples sore, but your baby will get little or no milk. The main signs of a milking baby is a wide open mouth and distinct movement in her jaw, ears and temples.

6. Remember to talk to your baby during the feeding process. She may not be able to understand what you're saying but the sound of your voice will relax and reassure her.

7. And finally don't forget to make yourself comfortable too. With all this focus on the baby it's easy to forget about your own well being. Always sit in your most comfortable position otherwise you will quickly lose the enjoyment of feeding your baby the natural way.

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