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Latching

A proper latch helps your baby get enough breastmilk to satisfy hunger and stimulates your breasts to produce milk. A deep latch should not cause pain or damage to your nipples.

Latch Image - Nose to Nipple
Nose to Nipple

Latch image- Wait for open mouth
Wait for open mouth

Latch Image - Chin on Breast first
Chin on breast first

  • Choose a breastfeeding position that is comfortable.
  • Help your baby get into a position so their nose is at the level of your nipple.
  • Tuck your baby’s body in close to your body.
  • Support baby’s shoulders and neck. Keep your hand away from the back of baby’s head.
  • If needed, support your breast with your hand. Keep your fingers and thumb away from the nipple and areola (darker part of your breast).
  • Touch baby’s upper lip with your nipple.
  • Bring baby to your breast when their mouth is wide open and their head is slightly tilted back.
  • Your baby’s chin will touch the breast first.
  • The nipple and a large amount of breast will be in your baby’s mouth.
  • Do not force your baby onto the breast. If fussy, calm your baby by holding them upright and then try again.
  • If you need to take baby off the breast, it is important to break the suction first. To break the suction, put a clean finger gently into the corner of baby’s mouth. Then remove your baby from your breast.
  • Your baby’s mouth is opened wide and filled with breast, not just the nipple. The lips are curled out.
  • Your baby’s cheeks appear to be full and rounded and not dimpling in.
  • Your baby’s chin is pressed against the lower part of the areola and their nose is slightly away from the breast.
  • Your baby’s head is tilted back slightly.
  • While baby is actively sucking and swallowing you feel a strong tug that is not painful.
  • Breastfeeding begins with little sucks that become deep and slow.
  • Baby is swallowing when there is a quick pause in sucking and the baby’s mouth opens wide.
  • You may hear gulping sounds or quiet sounds like “ca” or “eh” when the baby swallows.
  • Your baby’s ears will move during swallowing.
  • You should not hear “clicking” or “smacking” with a good latch.
  • Your baby’s mouth does not slip off the breast.
  • Your baby finishes breastfeeding looking relaxed, sleepy and content.
  • Your nipples are the same shape and colour as before feeding.
  • Your breasts feel softer and less full.
  • You can put expressed breastmilk on your nipples and areolas. Let them air dry.
  • Change breast pads when they are wet.
  • Avoid harsh soaps when washing breasts.

Watch:

Baby Led Latching

Latching Your Baby

Review:

Breastfeeding Matters (PDF 7.5MB) English / Francais

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