For a breast-feeding mother .there is nothing more satisfying than a good feed. To obtain a good feed, a good latch – that is a good feeding position, comfortable to both the mother and the baby is quintessential.
What is a good latch?
A good latch means that the baby is not just holding on to the nipple alone, but the lower part of the areola (skin around the nipple) as well. The baby’s mouth should completely take the nipple inside, and when you observe the cheeks, it should look like the mouth is full of the breast and the lips are puckered out like that of a fish. Suckling should happen via the lips.
If the feeding is done the right way you will notice that post a feed the lips will be bright pink, soft, supple and moist. If you observe the jaws of the baby while suckling, you should be able to see the action and hear the sound as well. This correct action itself, leads to the ejection of milk by acting on the nerves and stimulating the brain of the mother. Also, the baby’s chest and abdomen should be touching the mother’s body.
You can recognize a bad latch by observing the lips – if they are turned inside and if you hear clucking noises, then that is a sign, and should be corrected immediately.
While latching the baby on to the breast, ensure that the chin is first on the breast and then the mouth. It very often happens that the baby puts the mouth first and the breast touches the nose of the baby – this is not a very a good latch. If this continues, the baby gets used to it, and when teething starts, they pull on the nipples harder causing pain to the mother. Ensure to take nose to the nipple so that it gives a better suction position for the mouth and allows the cheek to rest properly as well.
- Keep yourself calm and composed
- Position yourself in a comfortable, peaceful place before you start feeding.
- Massage your breast before you feed
- Make it a point to clean the breasts properly once a day for hygiene
- Consult a lactation expert in case of issues or queries.
- Latch the baby to both breasts while feeding; latch even if the baby is bottle-fed or formula fed. It increases the bond and ensures a healthy feeding.