6 Rules to Get the Best Latch

6 Rules to Get the Best Latch | Baby Chick

6 Rules to Get the Best Latch

Breastfeeding can be tough. But half of the battle is getting a good latch. I wanted to share some of my tips and tricks to getting the best latch when breastfeeding your baby. As a certified DONA postpartum doula, one of the main topics new parents ask me about is breastfeeding. With the following tips and proper positioning, these will help you achieve a good/deep latch with your baby. Here are the things that I am looking for when helping a momma with breastfeeding.

First things first, you’ll want to find a comfortable chair or place to sit in when you’re getting ready to breastfeed. Make sure that it provides good back support. If you don’t feel comfortable or have good back support, bring some pillows with you to help with this. Another thing that you may want consider is having a stool for your feet. The reason for this is it helps with proper posture and it keeps you from straining your neck and shoulders. Having good posture and being in a comfortable position is important.

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The next thing that you’ll want to have is a breastfeeding pillow. There are many out there on the market that you can get. For example, a Boppy pillow or a My Brest Friend nursing pillow. If you don’t have a breastfeeding pillow, you can use some pillows that you have around the house to help with baby’s position. But I will say that a good breastfeeding pillow really can help make things easier and more convenient and comfortable for you.

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brest friend pink

Now that you’re comfortable and all set to go, I’m going to share with you my six rules to getting the best latch.

READ MORE
Survey Finds Lack of Support for Moms Breastfeeding in Public

Rule #1: Tummy to Tummy

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When baby is ready to eat, you want to position baby’s tummy to mommy’s tummy. There are many different positions that you can feed your baby. The main ones are the cradle hold, the cross-cradle hold, the football hold, and side-lying.

Image source via summitmedicalgroup.com

In these positions, you want to make sure that you have one hand or arm supporting baby’s neck and the other hand is supporting your breast. Being able to hold your breast can help with getting more of your breast/bottom of your areola into your baby’s mouth. We call these holds the C-hold or the U-hold.

c-hold

C-hold | Image source via lactconnect.blogspot.com

U-hold | Image source via llli.org

Rule #2: Nose to Nipple

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A lot of parents that I have worked with have their baby higher than the nipple than the baby should be. I can understand why they think this is right since they are trying to get their baby’s mouth level with the mother’s nipple. (See below.)

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NOT RIGHT: Baby is too high and the nipple is not by the baby’s nose.

However, we want mom’s nipple to be leveled with baby’s nose. This will help baby left its head and chip and open wider for a better latch. This helps put mom’s nipple in the right place in baby’s mouth to make it more comfortable for her.

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Rule #3: Chin to Breast

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If your baby’s chin is down to his/her own chest it will make it more difficult on them to open wide and get the best latch. We want to make sure that baby’s chin is up to mom’s breast. Once you have their chin to your breast and your nipple is to their nose, you will start tickling their nose and upper lip with your nipple which will help stimulate baby’s mouth to open. Once baby’s mouth has opened wide and their tongue is down, you are ready for rule number four!

READ MORE
10 Things to Do with Frozen Breast Milk

Rule #4: Baby to You, Not You to Baby

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YES: Bringing baby to you

When baby has his mouth open wide, be sure to bring baby to you and not lean over bringing your breast to baby. I can’t tell you how many mothers I’ve seen lean forward and shove their breast in baby’s mouth as soon as their baby’s mouth opens.

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NO: Don’t bring your breast to baby.

Remember, posture is important! If you have poor posture, it can actually affect your let down and how much milk you are giving your baby. The more comfortable and relaxed you are during breastfeeding the better.

Rule #5: Nipples to the Roof

Image source via unboundbirth.com

I know that sounds like a silly rule. What I mean is, you want to have your nipple at the roof of your baby’s mouth and have more of the bottom of your areola in his/her mouth. When your nipple is at the roof of their mouth, it is then hitting their soft palate. When you have the nipple dead center in their mouth, having the areola all around it in their mouth, your nipple will not be at their soft palate which can cause you to feel pain and potentially cause cracked nipples.

Image source via pumpstation.com

If you can tell that your nipple isn’t in the right place, you want to break the suction of the latch first before you remove baby. Otherwise, baby is going to pull your nipple with them. Ouch! The way to break suction is to put your finger in the crease of baby’s lips and your breast and press on your breast to break the suction. Then you can move baby and start all over again!

breast-feeding-cartoon-still-hungry

By U.K. cartoonist, Tony Husband

Rule #6: Fish Lips

Another thing that you want to check on is that baby’s lips are flanged out. If they aren’t, you can use your thumb to gently push down baby’s chin to widen their latch as well as push out their bottom lip. Every time I have done this while a baby was latched, mothers have told me that it helped and made the latch more comfortable for them.

READ MORE
How to Have a Successful Start at Breastfeeding

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These are my rules on how to get the best latch for baby! Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt so if it does hurt, try these steps to help with baby’s latch. If you feel like you need more support, contact your local IBCLC for in-person support.

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About the Author /

Nina is The Baby Chick® & CEO of Baby Chick®. She is a baby planner, birth doula, postpartum doula, childbirth educator, newborn care specialist, and a mother. With over eight years of experience, she has supported hundreds of families during their pregnancies, births, and postpartum journeys.

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I'm seriously needing some of these things tonight to start a new week. Hoping you mamas get some self care time too! 💕⁠
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No, the blood won't drain out of baby and go backwards into the placenta.⁠
No, your baby is not more likely to get sick from jaundice.⁠
Yes, your baby will still be getting oxygen while they figure out breathing, especially important if they need resuscitation.⁠
Yes, your baby will have better iron levels for the first year of their life.⁠
Look at how thick and engorged this cord still is at 4 and 18 minutes after baby was born. Just imagine how much blood baby would have lost if the cord had been clamped immediately, or at 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes! The placenta was expelled immediately before the 18 minute photo was taken. The pulse in the cord could still be felt even AFTER THE PLACENTA HAD BEEN DELIVERED! The cord was finally clamped and cut more than an hour after birth at 73 minutes. ❤️⁠
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Here are some tips to combat isolation:⁠
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1️⃣ Get outside when possible.⁠
2️⃣ Video chat with friends/family.⁠
3️⃣ Join a virtual group.⁠
4️⃣ Invite someone to come over.⁠
5️⃣ Find a local mom's group.⁠
6️⃣ Listen to the radio or a podcast (it's interesting how this can make us feel connected with others)⁠
7️⃣ Run an errand--even grabbing a coffee via drive-thru can feel good.⁠
8️⃣ Get to know your neighbors.⁠
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Flying on a plane with your little one for the first time can be terrifying. Are they going to cry the whole time? How will they handle the airport, the turbulence and the landing? Well we have some tips that will help prepare you for your flight with your kids. Here's what to do to have a more enjoyable experience 😊 {Link in bio!}⁠
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