A good latch is everything in breastfeeding. Any experienced mom, daula or a nurse will tell you this; breastfeeding is easier when babies latch properly.
But as expected each baby is different. Some are able to latch on properly and even so well that breastfeeding may seem too easy.
And then the babies who take some time to learn latching properly will eventually catch up on breastfeeding eventually.
Many times(and its quite common) the baby does not latch properly and you end up thinking you may have low milk supply. And that could be the case but its important to establish a good latch, only then get an opinion in baby’s health.
What is a good latch in breastfeeding?
A latch is considered a good latch when baby take a huge bite of the areola and is able to extract the milk from the breast completely.
Why good latch is important in breastfeeding?
A good latch ensures that-
- Baby is able to get enough milk for proper growth measured by weight gain in babies.
- Also a good latch ensures that you dont get any nipple injuries or cuts.
- You can avoid the problem of breast engorgement with a good latch as baby will extract milk properly.
How to ensure your baby latches on properly on the breast-
- Hold your baby closet to your nipple level.
- Touch your baby’s upper lip to the tip of your nipple. It will encourage baby to open their lip wide.
- Directly insert most of your areola part in their mouth and baby will latch on to it.
Signs of a good latch-
- Once your baby has latched you can see their jaws moving in a rhythmic motion as they suckle on your breast.
- You will feel a pulling sensation of breastfeeding, dont worry you get used to it.
- Your baby’s lips will be like of a fish.
- You dont feel uncomfortable or are not in pain when breastfeeding means its a good latch.
Signs of a bad latch-
- Most common sign is that baby is not opening a wider mouth and hence not latch property.
- You feel a stinging or pain whenever baby suckle. This happens when babies are just sucking on nipple and their gums rub again the nipple and hurt you.
- If they are half latched then also you may find difficulty in emptying breast properly.
What can you do to successfully breastfeed and establish a good latch-
- If you are still pregnant read and prepare yourself about breastfeeding. About how to hold the baby properly, breastfeeding positions, food to eat or foods to avoid etc.
- Find your ideal breastfeeding place and get comfortable. You can find feeding pillows online to buy or keep extra cushions and pillows to support your back.
- Breastfeed as soon as you deliver. Very important to establish a bond and if from the start the correct latch is introduced its beneficial for both baby and mama.
- Know your instinct if your baby is not latching properly and seek help.
- Take rest and eliminate stress. I cannot tell you important this step is in successfully breastfeeding your baby.
The opinions, ideas, views expressed in this article is solely my experience based in hope to help new mom’s. Kindly excercise caution and self judgment.
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