The way your baby attaches to the breast and begins suckling is called “latching”. A good latch helps your baby get the most milk and makes you less likely to have sore nipples during and after feeding.
You can help your baby create a good latch at your breast by keeping these tips in mind:
- Get in a comfortable position and hold your baby such that you could draw an imaginary line from his ear to his shoulder to his hip.
- Entice your baby to open his mouth by gently stroking his bottom lip with your nipple in a downward motion.
- When your baby opens his mouth very wide, quickly guide your baby onto your breast, so that his nose, cheeks, and chin are slightly touching your breast.
There are several breastfeeding positions that could be comfortable for you and your baby. Experiment with these different feeding positions to find out which ones are best for you.
Sit comfortably with your shoulders back. Place your baby across your stomach with her head in the bend of your elbow and directly in front of your nipple. Use a pillow to support your arm, if needed.
Cradle your baby under your arm on the same side as the breast you are offering. Tuck him into the side of your waist with his head in the palm of your hand. This position gives you a good view of his latch.
Lie on your side with a pillow for your head and one for your back. Place your baby next to you with her mouth opposite your nipple. Put a pillow or rolled up blanket behind your baby’s back for added support.
Hold your baby across your body, tummy to tummy. Support your baby’s head and neck with the hand opposite the breast you are offering. This position also gives you a good view of his latch.
If you have any questions about breastfeeding, contact a lactation consultant.
A Mom’s Helpful Guide to Breastfeeding, p. 12, 2017.