Breastfeeding Latch on

Getting your baby to latch:

Tickle the baby’s lips to encourage him or her to open wide.
Pull your baby close so that the chin and lower jaw moves into your breast first.
Watch the lower lip and aim it as far from the base of the nipple as possible, so the baby takes a large mouthful of breast.

Signs of a Good Breastfeeding Latch

The latch feels comfortable to you, without hurting or pinching. How it feels is more important than how it looks.
Your baby’s chest is against your body and he or she does not have to turn his or her head while drinking.
You see little or no areola, depending on the size of your areola and the size of your baby’s mouth. If areola is showing, you will see more above your baby’s lip and less below.
When your baby is positioned well, his or her mouth will be filled with breast.
The tongue is cupped under the breast, although you might not see it.
You hear or see your baby swallow. Some babies swallow so quietly, a pause in their breathing may be the only sign of swallowing.
You see the baby’s ears “wiggle” slightly.
Your baby’s lips turn out like fish lips, not in. You may not even be able to see the bottom lip.
Your baby’s chin touches your breast.

Help with Breastfeeding Latch Problems

Are you in pain?

If it hurts,your baby may be sucking on only the nipple.Gently break your baby’s suction to your breast by placing a clean finger in the corner of your baby’s mouth and try again. Also, your nipple should not look flat or compressed when it comes out of your baby’s mouth. It should look round and long, or the same shape as it was before the feeding.

Are you or your baby frustrated?

Take a short break and hold your baby in an upright position. Try holding him or her between your breasts skin to your skin. Talk, sing, or provide your finger for sucking for comfort. Try to breastfeed again in a little while. Or, the baby may start moving to the breast on his or her own from this position.

Does your baby have a weak suck or make only tiny suckling movements?

Break your baby’s suction and try again. He or she may not have a deep enough latch to remove the milk from your breast. Talk with a lactation consultant or pediatrician if your baby’s suck feels weak or if you are not sure he or she is getting enough milk. Rarely, a health problem causes the weak suck.

Return from Breastfeeding Latch On to Breastfeeding Principles

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