Achieving a successful latch with your newborn is crucial. Without it, your baby won’t receive the nutrition they need, and your breasts may not be stimulated to make more milk. Williams Brothers Healthcare Pharmacy would like to help you start off on the right foot with this guide to completing a true latch:
Step 1: Hold your breast with one hand while positioning your baby with the other.
Step 2: Place your index finger where your baby’s chin will touch your breast and your thumb where your baby’s nose will be.
Step 3: Shape your breast so that it more closely resembles your baby’s mouth.
Step 4: Stroke your baby’s cheek until the rooting reflex starts, and then turn their mouth towards your breast. Tickle their lips with your tipple until their mouth is wide open.
Step 5: Bring you baby’s mouth to your breast quickly and let them take your nipple and areola. Most babies aren’t able to take the whole areola into their mouth, but as long as your baby is grabbing a large portion of it, you should be fine.
Step 6: Your baby’s chin and the tip of the nose should be touching your breast. If your baby is making a fish-like expression with their lips, you’ll know you have a good latch.
Step 7: Let the breast feeding begin!
If the following things happen, then you know you have a bad latch:
- Your baby makes clicking noises. This means they’re only sucking the nipple, so you need to unlatch and start over.
- You feel nipple pain. That means your baby is chewing on your nipple when they should be gumming the areola.
- Your baby’s lips are tucked in, rather than being flanged out.
- You feel a sharp pain on another part of your breast. Sometimes, babies are so eager to feed that they will grab onto anything, causing bruising.
Remember, a proper latch involves the baby taking both the nipple and areola into their mouth. If you’re still having problems with your latch, find a local chapter of the La Leche League or consult your doctor.
For all the times you’re not able to breastfeed, Williams Brothers Healthcare Pharmacy is here. We carry a number of breast pumps in our online catalog, and can help you and your baby start off right!