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Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to feed and bond with your baby! But breastfeeding can be difficult at first… I mean it looks easy enough right?
Well, not quite…
Knowing how to get a good latch is the key to breastfeeding. In fact, having a good latch is the most important part of breastfeeding! If you don’t have a good latch you can’t breastfeed.
Having a bad latch can result in super painful feedings, extra sore nipples, and can also mean the baby won’t get all milk that he needs.
Figuring out how to get a good latch can be challenging.
A LOT of women experience latch problems.
Learning how to get a good latch was the most challenging part for me when I started. Which was a surprise to me since I thought it’d be easy! I figured when I had my baby I’d just latch her right on and she’d eat with no problems.
HA, boy I was wrong!
When I first started breastfeeding, figuring how to get my baby latch on was way harder than I thought it was going to be. We did eventually get it after much trial and error and lots of patience. But it was a bumpy road in the beginning.
Below I’ve gathered up some breastfeeding tips for latching. Hopefully, these breastfeeding tips for latching on will make learning to breastfeed much easier for both you and your baby!
(This page may contain affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read my full disclaimer policy here .)
The Secret to Getting the Perfect Latch
You’re gonna want to be comfortable while you’re breastfeeding. So get to a place where you can relax and be comfortable. Like on a comfy couch, nursing chair, or on your bed.
You can use pillows or blankets to help give you better support and to get comfier as well.
Mommy Tip: Using a breastfeeding pillow or just a regular pillow can be very beneficial! Having one under your arm can help give that extra support while you’re breastfeeding and it may help baby to get in a better position to latch too! I have this breastfeeding pillow here at home and I love it!
Having proper posture is SO IMPORTANT. Bad posture can affect latching and cause strain on your neck and back.
You’re gonna wanna make sure you’re sitting somewhere with good back support.
And NO slouching over! Slouching will cause back, shoulder, and neck pain.
You can avoid this by not leaning into the baby. Make sure that when you breastfeed that you bring the baby to YOU.
Your baby’s chin should be the first thing that touches your breast and it should stay there till the end of your breastfeeding session.
Good Positioning of the Baby
How you position the baby is just as important as how you position yourself when breastfeeding. Bad positioning can cause the baby to not latch on properly.
Your baby should never be twisted while breastfeeding. The baby’s head, neck, and spine should all be aligned.
This will make swallowing easier for baby. And the baby’s head should also be slightly tilted back to keep his chin from being on his chest.
Always keep your baby close to you during breastfeeding. You and your baby should be touching tummy-to-tummy the whole time while breasting. And baby’s nose should be level with your nipple.
Use the “C” or “U” Hold
The “C” or “U” hold may help you to guide your nipple to the baby’s mouth.
To do the “C” or “U” hold make your hand into a C or U shape and grab the sides of your breast. Your thumb should be on the top and your fingers on the bottom of your breast.
Be sure though to have your hand far enough away from the nipple so it won’t affect the baby from latching on when he starts to breastfeed.
Aim Your Nipple UP
Don’t aim your nipple toward the middle of the baby’s mouth. Aim your nipple at the top of his mouth.
Try aiming at his nose or upper lip to help you to go upwards. During breastfeeding, you should feel your nipple against the roof of baby’s mouth.
Help Baby to Latch Wider
You may need to help encourage the baby to open his mouth wider. You can do this by gently putting your nipple on the baby’s top lip or brushing your nipple in a downward motion against baby’s lips starting at the top lip and going down.
Doing this will help the baby to latch wider and make it easier to get a better and deeper latch when you’re breastfeeding.
Have the Areola in Baby’s Mouth too
The baby should NOT just have the nipple in his mouth.
It will be very painful if he does!
While breastfeeding the baby should have a good portion of the areola in his mouth along with your nipple. It should be mostly from the lower part of the areola.
But remember it’s okay if you can still see your areola when you’re breastfeeding!
Baby’s Lips Should Be Flanged Outward
A good way to know if the baby is latched on properly is to look at his lips. When breastfeeding the baby’s lips should be flanged outward so you should be able to see their top and bottom lip.
Their lips shouldn’t be curled inward. If they’re curled inward you won’t be able to see his lips.
Remember to Seek Help
If your little one isn’t producing enough wet diapers, isn’t gaining enough weight, breastfeeding is painful, baby still seems hungry/unsatisfied after a feeding or you’re having trouble just in general with breastfeeding, seek advice from a lactation consultant or a breastfeeding specialist. They are trained for this so they can help you with any troubles you may have with breastfeeding.
(Please keep in mind that I am NOT a doctor, breastfeeding specialist, a lactation consultant or anything else. I’m only a Mom who is going off of her own experiences and research. If you’d like to know more you can read my full disclaimer policy here .)
Related Articles: The Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom & Baby
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I hope these breastfeeding tips for latching help you! Breastfeeding is a wonderful journey and I wish you the best! Let me know what you thought about this post in the comments! And if you liked it give it a share! Thank you!