Is your baby latching perfectly? This will tell!

According to the law of nature, babies are born with the ability to breastfeed. In fact, suckling is the only motion they learn in the womb itself. However, turns out that this is not the case with all babies. Some newborns and moms have a tough battle when it comes to breastfeeding and the issue stems off from problems related to latching.

Many new moms and babies face issues with latching especially if the mother has had a long labour. Also, babies born with tongue ties or cleft lip find it difficult to get the right latch. While a lactation consultant can be the best person to help the situation, there are some pointers the mother needs to follow while breastfeeding too.

Here are ways to solve your baby’s latching issues without heading out to the doctor!

1. Do your homework before baby arrives

Any amount of research and reading is bound to fall short the moment you have your baby in your arms. However, that does not mean you stop reading about what to expect after the baby is born. Attending breastfeeding workshops and sessions, where they demonstrate how latching works can be of great help to you and your baby. So, find out if your hospital has one of those session and enrol for the same.

2. Start breastfeeding as soon as possible

Babies are born with many natural reflexes and this is what helps them find the breast, latch on and feed. So, ensure you start feeding your baby as soon as he/she is born. Also, skin-on-skin contact is a great way to bond with your baby, which in turn will help you and him feed interpreted. Those first few moments after your baby is born can make a big difference in your breastfeeding journey.

3. Find the right position

It is very easy to advice a new mom to calm down, but by finding the right feeding position and the right place, she will calm down herself and feeding will become a breeze. Being at ease goes a long way in making the baby more comfortable with what comes to him naturally. So, find the perfect position and your baby is sure to latch on.

4. Watch out for soreness

Soreness or tenderness in the initial days is perfectly normal. However, if this prolongs or hinders breastfeeding, reach out to a lactation consultant. There should be no pinching or biting and the soreness should not last an entire feed.

Signs of a good latch

A good latch is when mommy and baby are comfortable and the baby is drinking enough. In order to achieve this, the baby’s mouth has to cover at least a few centimeters underneath the areola (the brown area around the nipple). Also, while feeding, ensure the baby’s nose is not pressed against your breast. This can lead to breathing difficulties and result in an uncomfortable feed.

In case of mothers who have big breasts, it is advisable they hold their nipples with two fingers, like a V on either side of the areola (align the thumb with the baby’s top lip) and gently squeeze and shape the breast. This will help baby to latch deeper.

If the baby has latched on well you will see the baby sucking and swallowing milk. Also, the baby’s mouth will be around your nipple, covering the areola, not just on the nipple.

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