5 Steps to a Better Latch
Listen yall, The initial phase of breastfeeding is toe curling. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. I have been through it with five babies, and have had the same experience each time.
But there are some things that can help. Here are 5 breastfeeding hacks to help with latch.
1) WATCH FOR HUNGER CUES
Don’t worry too much about a schedule in the first few weeks. It can get frustrating if you are pushing the baby to eat when he or she is not ready. Watch for licking of the lips, movement of the mouth, and rooting. Within reason, let the baby lead with feeding time.
2) YOU GET COMFORTABLE FIRST
In those first few weeks, find yourself a good nesting spot.
Sometimes it takes a while for baby to become a nursing champ. You may be hanging in one spot for 30 minutes or more.
I was always soooo hungry and thirsty when I nursed. Grab a granola bar, an ice water, and the remote.
Let’s talk pillows. Make yourself a throne, girl. I would always make myself a pillow chair on the bed and then use a nursing pillow under the baby.
A good upright position for you, and the baby with a pillow under them will help to position the baby for a good latch.
3) SKIN TO SKIN HELPS
In the early days, I am normally a sight to behold while nursing.
Topless -Cabbage on one boob and baby on the other. Truth.
The skinny on skin to skin is that it is wonderful for bonding, and also for cuing baby that it is time to eat. Let em loose.
4) It is BREAST FEEDING not NIPPLE FEEDING
Here is a big one girls. You have to really learn to shove the breast into the baby’s mouth – not just the nipple. Most of the areola should be inside of the baby's mouth.
The best thing to do is to grab your breast and squeeze it like a sandwich. Then you watch for the baby to open her mouth to its widest point. At that point, while holding the back of the baby’s head, shove the breast sandwich into the baby’s mouth.
It sounds crazy, I know.
The baby will do this head shake thing before they latch. Watch that the baby's nose is free and the lips go out like a fish.
5) LEARN DIFFERENT NURSING POSITIONS
This is an important step. If you find that baby is having a hard time getting a good latch in one position, experiment with another.
You will find that one position will be your favorite, but it is important to learn some others even if baby is latching well because they can help if you ever deal with a clogged duct.
I really like the position in this picture for overnight feedings.
BONUS TIPS – CABBAGE, CREAM, and ALTERNATE BREASTS
So, I mentioned cabbage boob above. Cabbage is great for soothing sore nipples and breasts. I always keep a head of cabbage tagged specifically for that purpose in the refrigerator after I give birth.
READ MY POST ABOUT 6 THINGS NO ONE TELLS YOU ABOUT THE FIRST MONTH
Here is the cream I love. I use it after every nursing session at first.
And my final bonus tip is to alternate breasts. Some people will tell you to nurse the baby on both sides during each session. I never did that. Your nipples will get a longer rest time (which they will need during the first couple of weeks.)
Leave a comment below and tell me your nursing story. What tips can you share for others?