Steps to ensure a good breastfeeding latch

If you’re a new mum it must have been a difficult time for you to get a good breastfeeding latch which can help immensely in establishing breastfeeding. A firm and correct latch is one of the most significant factors when it comes to breastfeeding but it requires time and practice to master the process. It is always advisable to get help from a qualified lactation consultant or healthcare professional, specialised in breastfeeding support, during the initial days of motherhood for a comfortable and successful breastfeeding journey. Lactation experts check and identify the reasons for any misfit as well as give you tips to overcome hinders.

A poor breastfeeding latch not only frustrates and disturbs your baby, but can also have adverse effects on your health. It has been observed that due to the lack of good breastfeeding attachment, many mothers suffer from health complications like sore nipples, reduced milk supply, deteriorating body weight and are sometimes found at a high risk of mastitis and breast engorgement. It is therefore important that you take care of a few things during the first few days after your baby’s birth for an enjoyable nursing time ahead. We, with the help of some of the finest lactation consultants and breastfeeding experts, have found out a few steps that can help you to get a perfect breastfeeding latch for fruitful nursing sessions. 


Check if Your Latching Position is Correct

First and foremost, you need to find yourself a comfortable breastfeeding position and check whether your latching position is comfortable. Ensure that your little one’s head, neck and spine are not twisted, but in proper alignment. Her chin should be in an upright position and not bending towards the chest. In order to make a breastfeeding session successful it is important that both the mother and the baby feel comfortable during the entire process. You can use cushions or pillows for support while feeding your baby to keep your body away from nursing related strains.


Encourage Your Little One to Open Her Mouth Wider

Hold and bring your baby closer towards you and ensure that the baby’s mouth is lower than your nipple and the nipple is in line with her nose. You need to encourage your baby to open her mouth wider by gently stroking your baby’s upper lip with your nipple. Remember, it is crucial that your baby opens her mouth wide enough to get a good latch and get the required amount of milk.


Bring Your Baby Closer to Your Breast

Wait for your baby to open her mouth wide open and the tongue down. Once your child does that, quickly bring her chin closer to your chest and then bring her mouth up and over your nipple. This will allow your baby’s upper lip to rest above your nipple which will make the latch strong and solid. Always ensure that the young one has the entire nipple with a good portion of the areola inside her mouth, while her lower lips cover the underneath of the areola. This enables the baby’s chin to rest on your breast which makes the tip of her nose free from obstructions and ensures that she breathes comfortably while getting fed.


Watch and Listen Carefully

The latch needs to be comfortable and you should feel a slight jerking sensation while breastfeeding your baby. Look at your baby. At the beginning she’ll make short, rapid attempts to suck your breast in order to stimulate your milk flow. Once your breast starts flowing milk, she’ll start sucking deeply yet in slow motion with pauses in between. If you can achieve this, you’re on the right path as it indicates that your baby is getting a good latch and taking in adequate amount of milk.


Break Your Baby’s Latch On and Repeat the Process (If required)

There are times in the breastfeeding journey when no matter how careful you are, you lack somewhere and fail to get that desired breastfeeding attachment. If that happens to you, don’t get disappointed. It’s a learning process and therefore needs patience. If you feel that your baby’s latch is shallow or your breast hurts during the process, it is always advisable that you break the suction of the latch and follow the steps again. You may have to use your clean finger to break your baby’s suction by easing it gently inside the corner of her mouth.  

Breastfeeding is the key to your baby’s healthy future and therefore never hesitate to give your little one the power of breast milk. However always keep in mind that if you face difficulties during nursing or your baby is not being able to achieve the desired growth, it is important that you get in touch with a lactation consultant or breastfeeding specialist at the earliest.