This page is dedicated to the Latching On Method that works for you.
The main idea is to get your breast and nipple positioned deeply in baby’s mouth for a proper latch on.
The good news: There is no single right way to attach a baby to a breast. Anything that helps baby get on the breast deeply and comfortably, and ends in good milk transfer, is the “right” breastfeeding position or technique for you.
If these techniques below do not help, your best bet is to seek the help of a Lactation Consultant to identify specific breastfeeding problems you may be having, and suggest other latching on positions that could solve your latching problems. There is also a superb e-book called breastfeeding simply that is a good read, that also identifies common mistakes that you might be making.
Latching On Tips
* The most important thing for a good latch is that you and baby are comfortable. Get yourself a pillow to support your back. Some women feel more comfortable lying down during breastfeeding. Find the right position for you.
The most natural way to hold your baby is with one hand behind your baby's shoulder and one on his/her bottom, ‘skin to skin’ upright between your breasts. Your baby's chest should be against your body.
Your shoulders, arms and wrists should be in a relaxed natural position and most of baby’s weight should be put on your body.
Always use a cushion at the small of your back for less strain on your back and shoulders.
* You should try breastfeeding without any clothing; clothing can affect baby's head and neck posture and also interfered with reflex and sensory stimuli.
* If baby needs some help to know you are ready, gently brush your nipple down across the little crease between the baby’s nose and top lip.
* For a proper latch, when you bring your baby to your breast, make sure that your nipple is pointing towards his nose; this usually gets a baby to tilt his/her neck and open his/her mouth. Bring baby's chin towards your breasts first so that baby will close his/her jaw over your nipple. Remember that the more nipple and breast skin is taken into baby's mouth, the more milk will be removed, because of the milk ducts being under the areola. (small circular area around the nipple).
Here is a video that demonstrates the amount of milk removed if baby is latched on correctly compared to a shallow latch.
* How do you know when baby is latched on properly? A good latch will usually result in a deep pulling sensation in your breast. Baby should make a good seal on the breast and there should be very little “popping” sounds.
* Try to get baby to latch on off-center, with your nipple nearer to the roof of baby's mouth. This latching on technique will ensure that baby keeps a clear airway and also helps to keep the nose open during breastfeeding.
* Baby needs to have their chin and bottom lip touching the breast below the nipple; this will trigger the reflex that will get baby opening his/her mouth wider and getting some extra breast inside it.
* If you start to feel uncomfortable, or if your milk does not begin to flow within a few minutes, or if you are feeling any pain when your milk begins to flow, break the seal by putting your finger in-between baby's jaw and tongue, and pull baby away. Then, start over again.
* Finger feeding can be used to entice baby to the breast.
* The last resort that should be used are nipple shields; they are designed to encourage a baby to latch-on your breast. Hydrogel Nipple Shields can provide cool, soothing relief for mothers who may be experiencing nipple pain and who are struggling with latching on.
How do you know if baby is sucking right or drinking enough? Read more here
If you suspect that your breastfeeding problems are tongue related, read more here.
Other pages on "breastfeeding problems" related to latching on problems:
- Different Breastfeeding positions
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