Help in Latching… For Boobahsmom (and other BF mommies)

When Latching …

Have nipple and baby’s nostrils in line before latching.
Mother’s hand under the baby’s face.
Head supported but NOT pushed in against breast.
Head tilted back slightly.
Baby’s body and legs wrapped in around mother.

Push with base of hand on baby’s back and shoulders when MOUTH WIDE OPEN to move baby quickly onto breast, so chin and lower jaw touch breast first.
WATCH LOWER LIP, aim it as far from base of nipple as possible, so tongue draws LOTS OF BREAST into mouth.
Move baby’s body and head together – keep baby uncurled.
Once latched, top lip will be close to nipple, areola shows above lip. Keep chin close against breast.

Wide Mouth / Gape

Need MOUTH WIDE BEFORE baby moved onto breast.
Teach baby to open wide/gape:
move baby toward breast, touch top lip against nipple
move mouth away SLIGHTLY
touch top lip against nipple again, move away again
REPEAT UNTIL BABY OPENS WIDE and has tongue forward
Move baby not breast

Mother’s View While Latching Baby

Mother’s View of Nursing Baby

Recommendations For The Mother

Mother’s posture: Sit with straight, well-supported back; trunk facing forwards, lap flat.

Baby’s position before feed begins: On pillow, nostril (not mouth) in line with nipple.

Baby’s body: Placed not quite tummy to tummy, but so that baby comes up to breast from below and baby’s upper eye makes eye contact with mother’s.

Support breast and firm inner breast tissue by raising breast slightly with fingers placed flat on chest wall and thumb pointing up (if helpful, also use sling of tensor bandage around breast)

Entice baby to gape: baby’s head and shoulders supported so head extends slightly as baby moved to breast. Touch baby’s top lip to nipple and move baby away slightly and repeat until baby opens wide with tongue forward.

Move baby quickly on to breast: head tilted back slightly, pushing in across shoulders so chin and lower jaw make first contact (not nose) while mouth still wide open, keep baby uncurled (means tongue nearer breast); lower lip is aimed as far from nipple as possible so baby’s tongue draws in maximum amount of breast tissue


Mother needs to AVOID:
pushing her breast across her body
chasing the baby with her breast
flapping the breast up and down
holding breast with scissor grip
not supporting breast
twisting her body towards the baby instead of slightly away
aiming nipple to center of baby’s mouth
pulling baby’s chin down to open mouth
flexing baby’s head when bringing to breast
moving breast into baby’s mouth instead of bringing baby to breast
moving baby onto breast without a proper gape
not moving baby onto breast quickly enough at height of gape
having baby’s nose touch breast first and not the chin
holding breast away from baby’s nose

NOTE: The article above titled “When Latching” was written by Anne J Barnes and is the opinion of its author.


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