If you're reading this, then you probably haven't quite figured out how to get that perfect latch. But fear not! We've got some tips and tricks up our sleeves that will have you locking in success in no time.
The Importance of a Proper Latch
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of achieving a proper latch, let's take a moment to appreciate why it's so important. A good latch is essential for successful breastfeeding - it ensures your baby gets all the nutrition they need while also preventing nipple pain or damage.
It's All About Positioning
The first step to mastering the art of latching is finding the right position (Hint: there are no shortcuts here). Make sure you're both comfortable before starting and try experimenting with different positions till you find one that suits both yours' needs:
- Football Hold
- Cross-Cradle Hold
- Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) / Biological Nurturing
Pro tip: Experimentation might be key when trying out new things but don't hesitate to reach for help from an experienced lactation consultant if needed!
Perfectly Primed For Latching
Alrighty, let's move on to prepping those sweet ta-tas(preferably something less cliche than "sweet breasts"). You want them primed but not too full because any overflowing boobage won't make latching easier by any means (or should I say teats? Hmm..). So what can we do?
Express Some Milk Before Starting(necessary?)
Express some milk before starting if your babies waiting around idly while your milk comes flowing down like Victoria Falls isn’t their cuppa tea e.g slower weight gain due to low flow or stop-start feeding pattern(unsteadiness)/absence of feeding(premature babies). This means less work for them when they start suckling, and it won’t spur milk everywhere like a sudden emergence of poop.
Getting the Latch: Steps to Success
Now that we've got positioning down pat, let's talk latch.
Step 1: Nose-to-Nipple Alignment
Your baby's nose should be in line with your nipple! A lot of moms try to shove their breast into their baby’s mouth from the side but hey human babes don't eat burgers vertically (or do they?).
Step 2: Wait for That Open Mouth
Wait...and you shall receive(open mouths) In fact, encourage it by stroking a finger or nipple around baby’s lips. When you see that sweet little yawn/gape then it's go-time!(move on if youre not allergic to cheese)
Step 3: Get Your Nipple Deep in Their Little Month
The moment has arrived...the moment where it all comes together sighs with happiness Gently pull back on their chin as soon as he starts latching so his tongue can reach the base of your nipple(anatomically correct?). You want more areola visible above-below than beside-beside( though sometimes your structure could make sides just fine) Looking good!
Step 4 : Sit Back and Enjoy the Experience
Now that you’ve gotten through all these steps(without any hiccups fingers crossed), sit back and enjoy those heartwarming moments between mom and babe. If breastfeeding was easy peasy everyone would be doing so ????♀️.
Troubleshooting Common Latching Issues
Sometimes things just don't happen easily- maybe some latching issues come up which makes one feel secluded(drama?). But fret not, here are a few common issues I've gathered alongside solutions:
- Need more Comfort?
- Try different holds, such as a football or cradle hold.
- Nipple Pain?
- Use nipple creams to soothe the area -(though if it gets severe/any trauma detected always consult your medical practitioner)-Apply breast milk for an antimicrobial effect and faster healing.
- Low Milk Supply?
- Make sure you're eating enough calories and staying hydrated throughout the day.
- Tongue Tie?
- Have your baby checked by a lactation consultant- they might recommend a frenectomy(yikes..sounds serious)
- Clogged Ducts?
- Gentle massaging after feeds with warm non-compressing strokes
Breastfeeding is no cakewalk, nice round apples are discreetly serving their purpose behind every new mother's smile though there’s more to that than meets the eye (or nose). But, with some patience (which is easier said than done)and perseverance ,(not too stubborn please????) latching shall be mastered in no time!