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One of the problems that first-time mothers encounter is latching. For some, it started out fine but then, the baby won’t latch anymore. There are also cases where the babies find it hard to latch at all, worrying parents because they couldn’t get the nourishment they need from breast milk.
If you’re experiencing this, what should you do? Let’s discuss all things latching and how you can help your baby latch more properly.
Is your baby latching properly?
First, let’s talk about how you can tell if your baby is latched on properly. What does a good latch feel like?
Good latch vs Bad Latch
The first indication that should tell you whether or not your baby is latching just fine is the pain. If you feel that your breasts are sore especially the nipples, chances are your baby is having some difficulty.
Next, you want to check how much of your breasts they are latching on too. If you notice that they’re only latching on your nipples, that’s usually a bad sign. This greatly contributes to the pain. Ideally, their mouth would be covering not just the nipples but also some parts of the areolas. The inner part of their lips should also be flat on your breast, with their tongue just right over their lower lip.
You’d want to check on their cheeks. With proper latching, your baby should be sucking directly to their throat. If you notice a lot of movement with their cheeks, they might be encountering problems. You can try it for yourself, sucking with your cheeks. It just wouldn’t feel right.
Finally, you’d want to observe your baby from their disposition after feeding to their weight. Do they seem dissatisfied, irritated even after they’ve fed? This can be a sign that they’re not getting enough. Milk production is affected by how your baby is latching on and how much milk they’re getting from you. It follows the concept of demand and supply.
How to correct a shallow latch breastfeeding
To correct your baby’s latch, start by compressing your breast around the areola. Support your baby as you would when breastfeeding. Place your nipple on their lower lip first. Make sure that it is flat on your breast. Then continue until both of their lips are flat around the inner part of your areola. Continue to press your breast as long as you need. This is how to get baby to latch deeper. But as soon as your baby is settled–meaning, they are sucking already and their nostril is not covered by your skin–you can let it go.
How to retain the deep latch technique
Remember that proper position plays a great part here. One of the ways to retain your baby’s latch is to ensure that both of you are comfortable. You can breastfeed in a reclined position, which makes it easier for you baby as they can naturally rest on your chest.