What is a Breastfeeding Latch?

When you are breastfeeding your baby, it is important that your baby and you are comfortable. One of the comforts of breastfeeding is the proper breastfeeding latch.

Why is a breastfeeding latch one of the comforts of breastfeeding? It’s an easy number. You avoid plenty of complications when you have the proper breastfeeding latch from the baby. What are these complications, you ask?

In this article, we learn about the breastfeeding latch and all the important things we need to know about it.

Let’s get started.

A breastfeeding latch is what we call the act of the baby when they are breastfeeding from the mother. When the baby is ready to breastfeed, breastfeeding latch occurs when the mother positions the baby in a formation the baby can extract breast milk with.

What happens if your baby is not doing the right breastfeeding latch?

Your baby will always be hungry if they do not do the proper latching. This is due to the fact that they will not properly extract the breast milk from their mothers. Latching improperly while nursing will give them a hard time and an awkward position to begin with.

When your baby is not latching on well, your breast milk supply is either over productive then not producing enough supply at all. This will also mean your baby will start losing weight and may get sick often.

Babies who do not feed well from their mothers tend to lose weight and more prone to illnesses. The breast milk they get from their mothers have antibodies and nutrients that help with the baby’s growth and development for several months.

Your baby may also be try hard to extract breast milk because of the improper latch that they start to pull at the nipple. This is another downside of an improper breastfeeding latch – getting sore nipples. It is a probable possibility to get sore nipples when the improper latch is not fixed as soon as possible.

There may also be instances when your nipples start to appear cracked. At times, they may also start to bleed. It is not impossible that you may not feel the bleeding because you have gotten used to breastfeeding.

As much as it is important that you know what is going on with your baby, you need to take care of yourself, too.

Another sign you will notice is that when you fold your baby’s lower lip, you see their gums or teeth instead of their teeth. This means your baby is not latched on properly to your breast. You should be seeing their tongue, not their teeth.

How Do You Know Your Baby Has a Good Breastfeeding Latch?

breastfeeding latch

Image From Freepik

One of the first signs of a good breastfeeding latch is seeing your baby happily extracting breast milk. This means they are comfortable and getting enough milk. You will see how fast they are sucking the milk.

Another sign of a proper breastfeeding latch is when your nipples do not hurt after a few minutes of breastfeeding. Sometimes, improper latches can be felt as soon as the baby latches onto the mother’s breast. There will be a searing pain in the nipple due to the baby’s gums or teeth.

Properly latched babies keep the breast milk supply of the mother flowing. It may even be very productive if the mother is exclusively breastfeeding the baby for six months or more.

Another visual sign of a proper breastfeeding latch is when your nipples are not cracked, chapped or there are no signs of bleeding. A properly latch has the baby’s gums or teeth hidden from contact with the nipples. This is what helps the mother avoid any issues with pain or infections with the nipples or breasts.

What is a proper breastfeeding latch?

It is important to know the proper way of a breastfeeding latch. There are ways to improve the latching of your baby during breastfeeding. There are positions that will help you achieve the perfect latch.

It is important to educate yourself on the different breastfeeding positions and learn different latching techniques.

You will see proper latching in these simple steps;

Make sure you are comfortable with your position. Whether you plan to sit down or stand up breastfeeding, or even If you plan to be on-the-go while breastfeeding, just make sure you are comfortable.

Once you have accomplished comfort, make sure you are comfortable with exposing your breasts. If you are just home, you can always get comfortable in familiar surroundings. If you will be out in public, make sure you always put your comfort and confidence first.

In positioning your baby for a breastfeeding latch, make sure you aim; your nipple at the nose of the baby.

Once you have targeted the nose, slide your nipple down the baby’s nose and let the baby latch on to your breast. Make sure that the baby’s tongue is over the lower, front gums when they latch on.

A breastfeeding latch may not seem so significant. But, when you start to learn that your baby is not extracting enough milk or milk supply is running low, you may start to rethink what is happening. It’s the breastfeeding latch, moms!

I hope this post has served its purpose in bringing additional knowledge to you. Please, let us know what you think! Keep smiling.