Breastfeeding: Know the signs of a good latch

Published on: 30 May 2022, 10:40 am IST
Every new mom seeks breastfeeding tips to make the latching journey easier and better for herself and her child. Get some tricks right here!
Rama Mahajan
Learn to latch the baby properly. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
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A good latch is the most important aspect of breastfeeding. It makes it easier for a mother to get used to the process. So ladies, read on for some important breastfeeding tips for latching.

If a baby latches correctly, chances of successful breastfeeding are more. It will help a newborn get enough milk to grow and thrive. A good latch helps to ensure the regular removal of milk from mother’s breast and at the same time is essential to build and maintain her milk supply.

On the other hand, if the baby is not latched properly, the baby does not get enough milk resulting in slow weight gain or even loss of weight. A poor latch may cause many problems in mother too such as painful or cracked nipples or even bleeding nipples at times. Pain in nipples hinder let down of milk of making baby suffer while mothers continue to perceive that her milk supply is sufficient. Non emptying of milk from breast further reduces milk production and often leads to lead to engorgement of the breast or plugged duct or even infection.

What is a proper latch in breastfeeding?

For ideal latch in breastfeeding, babies need to suckle not only at nipple but areola as well. Areola is the pinkish brown circle surrounding the nipple it becomes darker as grows in size during pregnancy. Baby’s gums compress and milk sinuses situated under need let out milk. Through many openings in the nipple milk flows into babies mouth. If baby attaches to nipple only then he/she will not receive any milk.

Celebrities have opened up the conversation around breastfeeding! Image Courtesy: Evelyn Sharma | Instagran

Come, let us know some important breastfeeding tips!

How to latch

Though breastfeeding comes naturally, it’s a skill to be learnt, practiced and perfected. Here are the steps to latch properly.

* The mother needs to sit comfortably with her back properly supported.
* Position baby correctly, supporting the head, neck, back and bottom with one arm.
* The mother may hold her baby on either of her arm (cradle or cross cradle hold), under need her arm (football hold) or inside line position.
* Turn the baby towards to your body so as to achieve tummy-to-tummy touch.
* The baby’s nose must be on level with mother’s nipple. Tickle the baby’s lower lip with the nipple, and wait till baby opens the mouth widely like a fish. Pull baby towards yourself.

Signs of a good latch in breastfeeding

* Maximum areola should be inside babies mouth
* Chin touching mothers breast
* Lower lip turned outwards
* Mouth wide open
* Latch is comfortable. No nipple pain while the baby suckles
* Mother hears or sees swallowing
* Babies ear wriggle slightly

Signs of a poor latch

* Baby has dimple in cheeks while trying to breastfeed.
* Mother can hear lip smacking or clicking noises while baby suckles
* Baby suckles for a minute or so and then sleeps
* Baby is fussy at the breast, frustrated or shows sign of hunger even after a long feeding session
* Nipples are sore cracked or bleeding
* Nipples becomes flattened and not rounded
* Breasts remain full after feeding.

Also Read: Breastfeeding: From Bollywood to Hollywood, celebs are breaking the stigma

Breastfeeding tips for latching

When you notice signs of poor latch, break the suction gently by pressing the baby’s lower lip at the corner of the mouth and removing your nipple with a clean finger. Try to latch again.

If you are still having trouble with latching, seek help from a lactation consultant. Breastfeeding groups also a great help as the offer moral support whenever you need.

Rama Mahajan

Rama Mahajan Lactation Consultant Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Chandigarh

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