The latch is a fundament of your whole breastfeeding, not less! As you cannot build a house on a poor base, so you cannot have a successful breastfeeding having a poor latch. Life is not black and white, so neither the breastfeeding is, so you’ll definitely hear the real successful breastfeeding stories denying all rules of the modern lactation medicine, but please think of them as of the exceptions, as every rule does have an exception confirming the same rule. The chances are that your body, your breasts and your baby will not cope well with breaking all the rules and you might end up losing your breastfeeding, so you should try follow the basic rules and seek for skilled help if things are not working out well. Try your best in achieving a perfect latch, which is deep and asymmetrical position of the breast in your baby’s mouth.
Cross cradle position
Video credit: Janet Jones, IBCLC
If you google, you’ll find a gazillion info sheets and videos on how to achieve that perfect latch. The main rules behind every correct info are:
- Hold your baby really close to your body.
- Make sure your baby can tilt their head back (nothing is restricting this direction of the movement).
- Baby is on their tummy (even if you use any of the holds when baby is in front of you).
- Baby is really below the breast with their nose touching the nipple and chin touching the breast.
- Baby is hugging the breast with both arms.
- At the moment the baby opens wide reaching for the nipple, you bring them closer to you (and to your breast).
- The nipple is the last thing that gets into the baby’s mouth, as the baby gets a big “chunk” of the breast itself as they latch onto the breast.
- The nipple looks round and a bit longer after the baby let the breast go.
- You do not feel any discomfort and your nipples are not sore after a few latches.
- It does not matter if it LOOKS like a perfect latch as long as you feel discomfort or pain – it is not a perfect latch. Seek skilled help if you do not get one and all your complaints are not addressed.
One easy trick to improve the latch: flip the nipple!
Video credit: Wagonbird
If you require urgent help with breastfeeding:
Call or text @ 416-804-9300