Latching your baby can feel daunting at first, but with time and practice, you’ll get the hang of it. To make latching easier, find a quiet spot that’s well-lit and free of distractions. Ask another adult to stay in the room to offer moral support and help keep you focused. If you need an extra set of hands during this process, ask your partner or a trusted friend to assist you while practicing.
Latching your baby is challenging for many new parents. If you’re having trouble latching your baby, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a lactation consultant, nurse, or other healthcare professionals who have experience helping mothers with latch problems.
Here are some helpful latch breastfeeding tips that will get your baby feeding faster and more efficiently:
Keep your baby lifted and supported
Newborns have very little head control and will struggle to latch onto your breast if their head is resting against your chest. To keep your baby’s head lifted and supported, place her on your lap and use a small breastfeeding pillow to elevate her head.
A breastfeeding pillow can also help guide your baby to your breast once she’s latched because she’ll naturally gravitate towards the nipple once her mouth is placed over it. Depending on how much head control your baby has, you can also try propping up her head using an open hand or your forearm. You can rest your forearm against your chest with the palm of your hand towards your breast. Your baby’s head will rest in the palm of your hand.
Use a breastfeeding pillow
A breastfeeding pillow is an essential part of breastfeeding for many moms. It helps lift your baby’s head and keeps them from being squished or wiggling around, which could cause your baby to disengage from the breast.
Breastfeeding pillows are designed to help you keep your baby in the proper position for latching, as well as prevent sore nipples, aching arms, and back pain. Some pillows also have built-in pockets that are designed to hold breast shields and bottles, so you can use one breastfeeding pillow for all of your feeding needs.
Some breastfeeding pillows are designed to be used on the couch while others can be used while you’re sitting upright in a chair. If you plan to use a breastfeeding pillow while on the couch, make sure you sit close to the edge so your back isn’t stiff or in an awkward position.
Position your baby properly
Your baby’s head should be slightly tilted to one side and facing your breast with their chin tucked. Their ear, nose, and chin should be lined up with your nipple to prevent gagging. If you have to raise your baby’s head or tilt the head too far back, he may not latch properly and could start to gag. If your baby’s head is tilted too far forward, his chin may touch the breast. When this happens, it could cause your baby to latch too deeply and cause pain. If your baby’s head is in the proper position, one side of their mouth will be touching the breast while the other side is pressing against your areola. Your nipple should be at the back of your baby’s mouth, not in the front.
Check your latch
Once your baby has latched, check their latch to make sure it’s correct. One easy way to do this is by looking at your baby’s tongue. If the bottom of their tongue is touching the roof of their mouth, their latch is likely correct. If the top of their tongue is resting against the roof of their mouth, your baby’s latch is too deep and could cause pain or damage to your nipples.
Another way to check your latch is by inspecting your nipples. If your baby’s teeth are pressing against your nipples, their latch is too deep. If you can see the top of your nipple, your baby’s latch is shallow and they aren’t getting enough milk. If your nipples appear flat or look like they’re narrowed in towards the base, your baby’s latch is too shallow and isn’t getting enough milk.
Stay latched as long as possible
If your baby’s latch is correct, they should be able to stay latched as long as possible while they feed. Once your baby is latched on and feeding, try to stay as still as possible and avoid breaking the latch or moving around too much. If your baby is latched correctly, you’ll feel a tugging sensation when they start to feed and will likely hear a slurping sound.
If you feel pain when your baby latches on or notice your baby’s latch is too deep, you’ll notice a burning sensation. If you feel pain while breastfeeding, it could be due to a number of reasons, such as your baby’s latch being too deep, your breasts being engorged or your baby getting frustrated and feeding too quickly. To reduce pain and discomfort while breastfeeding, try to keep your baby calm and close to your breast while they’re feeding.
Latching During Breastfeeding Discomfort Or Pain
If your baby’s latch is proper but you still feel pain while breastfeeding, it could be due to a number of reasons, such as your breasts being engorged or your baby’s latch being too deep. You can reduce breast pain and discomfort by expressing your breasts before you begin breastfeeding.
Using a warm compress before feeding can also help reduce pain and discomfort. You can also change your breastfeeding position, try using nipple cream or even feed your baby on both breasts at once. If your baby’s latch is too deep, you can change their position or get them to break the latch and start over again. You can also try using breast shields or using a breast pump before feeding to get your breasts flowing.
Breastfeeding can be challenging at first, but with practice, you’ll get the hang of it. Remember to keep your baby lifted and supported, and make sure they’re properly positioned before you try to latch them. Check your baby’s latch to make sure it’s correct, and stay latched as long as possible once feeding begins. If you’re having trouble getting your baby to latch on the breast, try using breast shields or a nipple shield.