Do you know the difference between a good latch and a poor latch? The truth is many expectant and even experienced parents don’t. A good latch is key to a successful and enjoyable breastfeeding experience.
Signs baby is latching properly:
•latching onto the entire nipple and most of areola (1 inch or more in mouth)
* babies lips are flat against breast and nose and chin touch breast while nursing
* Tongue should be flat across babies gums to lower lip and against breast
* You should be able to see and even hear baby sucking and swallowing.
* Baby should be producing appropriate amount of diapers, growing well.
* Baby settled and content following nursing.
* Breast feels “empty” or soft following feeding.
* Breastfeeding is NOT painful
Signs of a poor latch:
* Baby is only latching onto nipple and not surrounding areola.
* You can’t tell if your baby is swallowing
* You hear a clicking sounds.
* Baby frequently breaks latch or cheeks are visibly sucking inward while nursing.
* Low supply
* Poor weight gain or minimal diapers.
* Baby is fussy, baby doesn’t seem satisfied or content even after nursing.
* You have breast or nipple pain.
If your little one has a poor latch you are certainly not alone. Initiating and maintaining breastfeeding can be extremely challenging. Getting support early can make a huge difference in being successful in breastfeeding and avoiding some of the unpleasant complications such as nipple pain, mastitis, blocked ducts etc that can occur with a prolonged poor latch.