Advice for Parenting

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How to Position Your Baby for Good Latch

5 Simple Tips for Moms

Parenting Advice

There is a common myth that breastfeeding is natural and easy. Many first-time mothers experience difficulty with breastfeeding latch, leading to frustration and often discouragement. Positioning is very important to achieve latch, and there are some simple steps you can take to make yourself and baby more comfortable in order to be more successful. If baby is positioned properly and has a good latch, there should be no pain or discomfort with breastfeeding. Read on to learn 5 simple tips for positioning, in order to achieve a good breastfeeding latch.

1. Find a comfortable position. You want to be well supported with your feet touching the floor, your back supported by comfy pillows and your arms and baby supported with either bed pillows, cushions, or nursing pillows.

2. Tummy to Mummy. Baby should not have to turn her head in order to reach your breast. Her tummy should be turned toward you and her mouth and nose should be facing your nipple. Baby should be so close that she is touching your tummy with hers. Once you are comfortable, your partner can participate by handing you the baby.

3. Good Breast Support. The cross-cradle hold is optimal for supporting baby at the breast in addition to helping you to support your breast. Supporting baby by the shoulders and neck, you bring baby across your body to your opposite breast. Cupping your other hand in a “c” position, support your breast as you bring baby close.

4. Latch Baby onto Breast. You want baby to open her mouth wide. This can be accomplished by touching the top of baby’s mouth with your nipple. Baby will open her mouth wide in anticipation, and then bring baby and breast together.

5. Breath, Relax and Enjoy! If you are feeling pain, use your clean finger to detach baby from breast and try again. You may need to attempt latch a few times every feeding session at first. Don’t worry, you and baby will get the hang of it!

If you are still experiencing pain or difficulty latching, please don’t get discouraged! There may be a need to seek additional help from an Internationally Board-Certified Lactation Consultant, IBCLC. They are a practitioner specializing in breastfeeding and can help with more specific issues.

The MOM & DAD Project
Nichole McGivney, Maternal Health Coordinator

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