Getting the Latch Right
Nicola’s best tips on mastering the latch in those early days of newborn breastfeeding:
Again, Don’t Panic!
“It’s mad, because what happens is in the first couple of weeks is, you have to concentrate so much on the latch, and the baby’s positioning. But then after that, the baby can latch upside down and will still be able to drink milk. So, it’s really only in the first week that you’ve got to be very careful about all of your positioning and latching and holding the baby in really close. After that the baby gets bigger and stronger, and their mouth gets bigger, and this doesn’t matter as much.”
Master One Hold
“Cross cradle hold, football hold…many mothers think that they have to use lots of different types of holds in the early days. You don’t, you just need to master one. So focus on finding the one that works for you and your baby and then stick to that.”
You Are the Guide
“In those first few days, as much as you’re learning, your baby is learning even more.”
“A lot of newborn babies will try to latch with their eyes closed, but can’t. That’s because maybe they are searching with their face to feel the nipple, then if they can’t find it with their face, the hands come in. They start searching with their hands on the breast and if they can’t find it with their hands, the head butting starts! So, help them along as much as you can when guiding the breast into their mouth.”
It’s Breastfeeding, Not Nipple Feeding!
“Ideally, you want your baby to take a big mouthful of breast as it’s breastfeeding, not nipple feeding.”
“When your baby latches, you bring the baby onto the breast, you don’t put the breast into the baby’s mouth. What you want to see is cheeks touching the breast, so that when you look down, all you should see is their nose. You shouldn’t be able to see a gap between the cheek and the under breast.”