Getting enough milk while breastfeeding depends on your baby latching on deeper and in a correct and comfortable way, but it’s not always easy.
Breastfeeding, the most natural way to feed your baby sometimes takes time and practice on both sides to learn and master it. Knowing how a good latch looks and feels can be very helpful in establishing an effective breastfeeding routine.
Do not hesitate to ask for help during the first days and weeks after birth. Has your newborn’s latch been checked, ideally by a healthcare professional trained in breastfeeding support, a qualified lactation consultant, or a lactation specialist? To avoid future problems, make sure you do things right from the start.
A shallow latch can be frustrating and stressful for your baby and it can also be the cause of nipple pain. It can also indicate that your baby is not able to drain your breasts effectively, which leads to insufficient weight gain, reduced milk supply, and risk of blocked milk ducts or mastitis for you.
Can’t get your baby to deep latch?
Here are our expert breastfeeding latch tricks to help you out.
Make sure your baby’s head, neck, and spine are straight with no twists before you start nursing, in whichever position you select.
Instead of pointing towards his chest, his chin should be pointing up. Check to see if you’ve settled in as well. Pillows or cushions can be used to support your back, arms, or your little one.
Get your baby close to you, your nipple level with his nose. Gently touch her upper lip with your nipple to encourage her to open her mouth wide. The wider he opens his mouth, the easier it will be for him to latch deeper.
Bring your baby to your breast by guiding your nipple up towards his mouth once he has opened his lips wide and brought his tongue back to his lower gum line.
The chin of your baby should be the first thing to touch your breast. He should swallow a substantial portion of your areola, with his lower lip and jaw covering more of the underside.
It makes no difference because areolas and babies aren’t all the same size. It may be beneficial for some moms to gently change the curve of their breasts while bringing it to their infant. Experiment to see what works.
Remember that mothers all have different breast shapes and nipple positions, so the latch is not always standard. Keep your baby close to you as much as possible, with his chin in contact with your breast.
A newborn’s nose is pointed up so he can breathe easily when latched on and learn to coordinate sucking and breathing easily.
Your nipple should contact the roof of your baby’s palate as he suckles, and his tongue should be softly held underneath. During the latch, you should feel a sense of suction rather than discomfort.
Keep an eye on your child. Initially, to promote a milk flow, he will suck briefly and quickly.
He’ll then start sucking slowly and deeply with pauses as the milk starts to flow.
This is a wonderful indication because it means he’s drinking milk! As he suckles, you should watch his jaw move and hear sucking and swallowing sounds.
Check this deep latch technique video for more details:
Signs of a deep latch
Each time you breastfeed your baby, make sure that:
- He can breathe through his nose and his chin is touching your breast.
- His lips are open wide, and he grabs your areola with both hands (not just your nipple)
- The latch is not painful or uncomfortable.
- He starts with short sucks before moving on to sucking gently and deeply.
- Your infant may have trouble latching on deeply if you have inverted or flat nipples.
Good latch Vs Bad latch
|Good Latch||Bad Latch|
|Latch is painless and comfortable||As he tries to breastfeed, your baby is sucking in his cheeks|
|Baby’s chest and stomach rests against your body, with the baby’s head straight and not turned to the side||You can see that baby has the lips tucked in and under|
|Baby’s chin rests on your breast||As baby tries to suck, you may hear clicking or smacking noises|
|Baby’s mouth opens wide around your breast||Your nipples are sore, and breastfeeding is becoming increasingly difficult|
|Baby’s tongue is cupped beneath your breast||Your supply of breast milk is depleted|
|You either hear or see swallowing||After you have breastfed, your baby continuess to exhibit signs of hunger|
|Baby’s ears are moving slightly||Baby is losing weight or is not gaining weight at a normal rate|
A good and deep latch equals a good milk supply for the baby
The most important thing is to know how to support the baby’s head and neck so that he can latch deeper. Some babies are better at latching than others, but all babies should be able to latch on easily if you do things right from the start.
Remember, if breastfeeding is painful, your baby seems hungry after feeding or isn’t gaining weight, poor latching may be the cause. Speak with a lactation consultant or lactation specialist as soon as possible.