Top Latching Tips For Breastfeeding Success!
Breastfeeding is one of those things that you can’t fully understand until you’ve done it yourself; and it’s that great unknown that makes many moms-to-be anxious! Don’t worry, with a few basic facts you’ll be good to go – and nursing like a pro! The first thing nobody probably thought to tell you is that Baby doesn’t latch onto the nipple itself; this is just a ‘spray nozzle’ for the milk. Baby should actually latch onto the darker area of skin round the nipple – the areola – because this is where the milk accumulates during a feed. Different women have different sized areolae so it is misleading to say that Baby must get all of it in his mouth; as long as he’s not latched onto the nipple itself, and at least some of the areola is in his mouth, that’s fine. Take a look at Sister Lilian’s top ten latching tips here and relax – you were made to do this!
- Grab something to drink and get into a comfortable position, making sure Baby is comfortable too and his whole body faces you; if he has to twist his neck he won’t feed well and might hurt your nipples
- Wear a front-opening garment while you get the hang of things so that you can see what you’re doing
- Tickle Baby’s lips and cheek to trigger his rooting instinct – when his mouth opens wide and his lip curls down cup your hand around his head and gently hold it against your breast
- If Baby struggles to open his mouth wide enough, gently pull downwards on his chin with your finger
- Expect the first few sucks to be strong and painful; if the pain persists you’ll need to relatch Baby
- Don’t worry, Baby can breathe on his own so you don’t have to hold your breast away from his nose
- Listen for sounds of swallowing and watch for active movement of Baby’s cheeks right up to his temple – if his cheeks draw inward and your breast isn’t pulling in toward his mouth you’ll need to relatch
- Express some milk first if your breasts are engorged and too tight for Baby to latch
- Gently pull and roll your nipples between your thumb and forefinger if they’re flat and Baby struggles to latch
- Walk with Baby if he won’t calm at the start of a feed – cradle him in your arms and move around until he’s latched and you notice him relax