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What is Latching?

Latching is the act of the baby when it attaches to the nipple of the mother during breastfeeding. Latching improves the breastfeeding experience for mothers and babies. It is convenient and never time consuming.

It is important to remember that when a baby is latching, it must be the right way of latching. If it is not, it may lead to insufficient breastfeeding, low milk supply, mastitis, engorgement or sore breasts and nipples.

Take note: Not all sore nipples and breasts are caused by improper latching.

On the other hand, babies may not be feeding well and getting the nutrition they need. Improper latching can be a cause to many complications and issues if not addressed well.

That is why latching is a very important process in breastfeeding.

How Do I Know If the Baby is Properly Latching On During Breastfeeding?

When you are prompting latching with the baby, you will find this as a sign to many issues and changes. It is important to always take mental notes of things you notice during breastfeeding.

When latching, there are instances when you will realize that the baby does not latch at all. Sometimes, the baby may be a little too harsh when latching on to your breasts. In these instances, it is important to investigate what is happening.

There are many factors that can affect the latching of a baby during breastfeeding.

What is Proper Latching?

Breastfeeding is an intimate moment between moms and their babies. It is important to know everything about your baby and the bond you form. Breastfeeding and latching are one of these bonds.

There are times when the latching is improper, but you would not know until your nipple or breast start to hurt. What can we do to change this? Proper latching is not at all that difficult.

Always remember – the rapport between your baby and you is important. Remember that, physiologically speaking, your baby can feel if you are happy, sad or running low on patience.

Here’s how proper latching is;

Give in to the demands of the baby to be breastfed. This will give the baby any eagerness to latch and breastfeed.

  1. Before latching the baby, take a seat and make sure you are comfortable. Make sure everything you will need is near you and in arm’s reach. Keep water, phones and your healthy treats near you.
  2. When you are ready to breastfeed, position the baby in a cradle. Make sure you comfort the baby and the baby is also ready to feed.
  3. Hold the breast your baby will feed from and aim the nipple at the nose of the baby. Gently press the breast towards the chin of the baby. This will prompt the baby to open his or her mouth.
  4. When the baby opens his or her mouth, slide the nipple and the lower part of the breast in to the baby’s mouth. Make sure that you get a part of the lower breast into the baby’s mouth.
  5. Once the nipple and a part of the breast has rolled in, then you have made your baby deeply latched on to your breasts.

Image From Colin

What Are Latching Barriers?

It is not unusual to have barriers – including for latching. If it comes down to a point when you realize your baby is not latching or is not getting enough breast milk – this list could tell you what the reason is:

  • We all know that breastfeeding is something that mothers love to do just to show how much they love their babies. But, sometimes, some mothers prefer not to breastfeed their babies.

The factors that may be affecting this decision are the age and preferences of these moms. The younger the mom, the more they may not like to breastfeed.

  • Some women discontinue breastfeeding their child due to sore breasts and nipples. As a matter of fact, breastfeeding is actually good for sore nipples and breasts because it lessens the load of breast milk in the breast.

Engorgement happens when there is a consistent production of milk supply but it is not released, so it fills up the breasts. This can be quite achy or painful for the breastfeeding mother.

The best thing to do is to continue breastfeeding your child, so you can avoid engorgement or mastitis as well.

  • Latching is painful, yes, if it is not done properly. Ask a professional nurse or doctor how to latch a baby for breastfeeding. They will educate you and you will learn more about your baby and breastfeeding then.
  • The baby may have been exposed to other feeding methods. This could be the reason a baby no longer likes to latch onto your breast to breastfeed.

In breastfeeding, it is important to make sure you take your time before switching to bottles. Once the kids start to try bottles and formula milk, they may not like breast milk any longer.

Keep in mind that it is not hard to learn how a baby should be latching when breastfeeding. It is also not difficult to teach the baby to latch. Yet, it will be a very easy lesson to neglect when the baby starts to prefer formula milk over breast milk.

Put your health and your baby’s well-being first at all times. Support breastfeeding.

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