Proper latch is essential for breastfeeding in order to avoid any pain. A good latch also helps the baby receive the proper milk supply and it helps you breastfeed for a longer duration to benefit your baby.
The best latch tips are found on LLL How do I latch my baby? The document contains tips and different positions you can try.
Below is a summary of some good tips:
Step 1: Position yourself comfortably.
There is no rule for how to sit comfortably. Laying flat might bother you and sitting up straight all the way might bother you too. So, just sit comfortably in a way that you wouldn’t mind staying for 40-45 minutes (especially in the early days)
STEP 2: Place your baby so that your baby’s body is facing you and your bodies should be touching tummy to tummy.
If you have had a C section ask for someone to bring your baby to you, as it may be difficult at this age to carry your baby
Step 3: Tickle your baby’s upper lip with your nipple
Some women find it extremely comfortable to hold the breast as a sandwich above the aerola. Like a C. When you do that make sure it’s not blocking the comfort of your baby’s chin.
This picture shows the mother cupping the breast like a sandwich and aiming for the top of the baby’s mouth
Step 4. When the baby’s mouth is open wide aim for the nipple towards the roof of your baby’s mouth.
Your baby should get as much of the aerola as possible. Taking more from the bottom than the top.
To know you’ve done it right:
The baby’s chin should be diving into the breast, and the nose should be away from the breast.
- You should see the baby’s chin moving after after a few minutes.
- A proper latch should leave you feeling a bit of discomfort but not pain. It is supposed to be an easy and pain-free process.
- If you feel pain, try to re-read the above steps and re-position your baby while he is still on the breast. Latching on and off may cause more discomfort and pain. If you continue to feel pain after 3 days contact a lactation specialist in your area or a La Leche League Leader.
Some video illustrations for proper latch:
A wonderful video is developed by Dr. Newman where you can beautifully see how the chin is turned inwards and the nose outwards, and you can really see the baby gulping
Below is another video showing proper latch:
A summary of positions are found on:
For a long list of youtube videos on Breastfeeding positions check out Galactablog’s Youtube Playlist