Getting a Good Breastfeeding Latch
Breastfeeding Latch, simply put, is how the baby takes the nipple and the areola (the slighter darker region) into his mouth to suckle. The mother needs to cup your breast in a U-way so your fingers are parallel to your baby’s lips or in a way that looks like you are holding a cigarette. Then gently squeeze or compress the breast, so that the baby s mouth can latch onto a good portion of the nipple+areola.
This skill must be perfected by a new mum, if the baby will get the milk out of the breast and for the breast as well, to be stimulated to produce more milk. Also, poor breastfeeding latch is the reason for cracked and painful nipples, in most cases.
Once the baby achieves a good latch, nipple soreness is minimized and the baby can now get adequate nourishment he needs.
How to know that you’ve got a good latch:
- The baby s chin and tip of the nose will be touching your breasts.
- There is a tight seal between the baby’s lips and the areola.
- His lips will be flanged out and not tucked in, as he is sucking.
- The suck-swallow-breathe reflex goes on unimpeded.
- Baby’s ears are wiggling, meaning that baby is sucking and swallowing freely
- Milk does not leak from the corners of the baby’s mouth.
- After each feeding, the breast feels emptier.
- Baby is gaining weight and growing.
How to know that you’ve got a bad latch:
- The baby is chewing your nipple, as it were (quite painful)
- He is sucking any part of the breast even though milk is not coming out.
- Your Milk supply is low
- Your nipples are sore
- The baby makes smacking sounds while trying to suck
- Baby is losing weight.
(Do not continue if you notice the latch is not right, gently unlatch and re-position baby)
The more you breastfeed, the more milk you’ll produce.
The more you eat, the more milk you’ll produce.
I hope this article helps someone.