When it comes to breastfeeding, the latch is the moment that matters the most. Your baby takes the mouthful of areola and nipple and starts sucking to draw out the milk. The importance of establishing a good latch means your baby gets the needed nourishment and reduction in nipple soreness.
Now the question that worries most new moms is how to pull all that off?
First things first, have complete faith in your baby and you. Babies have instincts that help them in finding the breast of the mom and latch on with little assistance. If, however, you are finding it difficult then here are a few tips that would help baby get latched.
Do Your Homework
These days there are sessions before the arrival of a baby to help you understand breastfeeding. Known as prenatal classes, instructors and doctors demonstrate latching with videos so you might get comfortable with the entire process. You can also contact new moms-to-be or other moms and get rid of your concerns and queries.
Comfort is Important
Identify the relaxed position in which you can stay comfortable for a while. There are some experts who recommend moms to breastfeed in a reclined position.When you lie back, gravity helps in supporting baby. This means you do not have to do all the work.
Also, it is an easy position for your baby to bury her chin into the breast, turn and lift head and user her hands – all these are helpful when the baby is latching on. Remember it is the job of your partner to hold your baby while you are settling down. You might need an extra pillow or two to make yourself more comfortable.
Start Breastfeeding Without Any Wait
The earlier you start the process of breastfeeding, the more likely you will tap into the innate abilities of your little one to latch.This makes the process easier for both of you and keeps milk supply strong. Right from the arrival of a baby, it is the natural reflex to climb onto mommy’s breast and start nursing.
When the skin of the mother and baby touch each other, natural reflexes kick in. Skin-to-skin contact along with mother touch and smell works wonder in the process of breastfeeding.
Set Your Little One to Feed Properly
Start by putting your baby’s tummy down on the bare chest and then tummy her little less than the diaper, with his chin and cheek touching the breasts.There are some mothers who find it comfortable to place their baby horizontally across the chest however, there is no thumb rule, do whatever you feel is comfortable.
Place your hands on the neck and upper back of your baby as it might help steady him. Make your baby open her mouth little wide and express colostrum (your first milk). Rub your finger and thumb back and forth across the nipple, gently compressing areola to make some milk come out.
Ideally, the bottom lip of your baby would be on or near the base of the areola with her nose opposite the nipple. The smell of the colostrum would make your baby bury her chin into the breast and open her mouth and latch on.
Identify the Signs of a Good Latch
Your baby latches well in case you have a tugging and pulling sensation on your breast. How to know whether or not your baby is swallowing?
His lower jaw and temple move rhythmically and breathy aa is audible that means your baby is exhaling after swallowing. The lips of your baby will be flanged out – just like an open flower or a fish – around your areola and nipple and not tucked under. This might make your nipple sore.
Look for Signs of Trouble
It is very common among new moms to feel a little tenderness or soreness while breastfeeding, especially in the early days. However, it is important to note that biting or pinching and soreness should not last for a long time or throughout the breastfeeding.
If it stays for a long time then explore the reason for it. Pay attention to how the nipple look after baby detaches. If they are bleeding, cracked or compressed then it is not normal. If you feel pain and notice any of these signs, consider consulting a lactation consultant.
So, if you find it difficult to latch your baby then try following these tips. Breastfeeding is a natural process and babies know how to latch. It is just that you need to take certain measures to ensure both of you are comfortable.