When breastfeeding, one of the most important things to consider is getting a correct latch. A correct latch is essential for the success of breastfeeding, and it is important to ensure that your baby is latched on correctly. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of a correct breastfeeding latch and how to ensure that you and your baby are getting the most out of your breastfeeding sessions.
Prepare yourself and your breasts
Before you attempt to latch your baby on, it’s important to prepare both yourself and your breasts. First, find a comfortable position. Many women find that leaning back with their feet supported, in either a reclining chair or their bed, is the best way to ensure a good latch. You should also make sure you’re relaxed and that your baby is calm before trying to latch them on.
Breastfeeding can be painful if your nipples are not conditioned, so it’s important to get them used to the sensation of being pulled. Gently massage your nipples with your fingers and use lanolin cream to moisturize them. If you have inverted nipples, you may need to gently pull them out with a nipple shield before latching your baby on.
Finally, before latching your baby on, express a few drops of colostrum, the yellowish milk that appears in the days after birth. This will help prime the baby to begin nursing and stimulate the flow of milk. Once you’ve done all of this preparation, you’re ready to begin the breastfeeding process!
Hold your baby close
For a correct breastfeeding latch, make sure to hold your baby close. Positioning your baby is important for successful breastfeeding. There are many different ways to hold your baby during breastfeeding, but some common positions include the Cradle Hold and the Football Hold.
In the Cradle Hold, you should hold your baby close to your body with the whole length of their body touching yours. Use your free arm to support your baby’s back and head. To adjust their chin and mouth to your nipple, use the hand that is closest to your breast.
The Football Hold is an alternative position that is often useful when you have a larger baby or you have had a c-section. In this position, you will hold your baby tucked in at your side with their chest and stomach facing you. Support your baby’s neck, head and shoulders with your arm while you position them on their side at the level of your breast. Make sure to adjust their chin so it’s facing your nipple for a correct breastfeeding latch.
Aim your nipple towards the baby’s nose
Once your baby’s lips are touching your nipple, you’ll need to make sure that you aim the nipple towards their nose. This way, they can take in more of the nipple and are better able to latch onto it correctly. You can help to guide your nipple in this direction by gently pressing on the area just above your baby’s upper lip. You can also cup your breast with your free hand to help ensure that your nipple is facing the right way. Be sure to pay attention to your baby’s cues, as they will let you know if your position needs adjusting.
Touch your baby’s lip with your nipple
When your baby’s mouth is close to your breast, you will want to touch the lower lip of your baby with your nipple. This helps to stimulate the rooting reflex which causes your baby to open wide and latch onto your breast. To do this, hold your baby’s chin and guide the lower lip out towards the nipple. You may need to use a hand to help open your baby’s mouth wider or stroke their upper lip. When they open wide enough, slide the nipple in and up towards the roof of their mouth.
Wait for your baby to open wide
It is important to wait for your baby to open wide before bringing him or her to your breast. If you put your baby to your breast when their mouth is closed, it can cause a shallow latch and create sore nipples. Instead, make sure your baby has opened wide, like a yawn, with their chin tucked down towards their chest. If your baby does not open wide, you can gently stroke their lips or cheek with your nipple to encourage them to open wider. Once your baby has opened wide, bring him or her up to the breast and make sure their lower lip is slightly behind the nipple. This will help ensure a correct breastfeeding latch.