Mastering proper latch technique when breastfeeding is essential to ensure that your baby is getting adequate amount of milk per suck. If your baby can’t get enough milk when sucking, he can get tired and would end up bawling his lungs out due to hunger. Improper latch can also lead to cracked and bleeding nipples, which is pure hell for mothers (I know, I’ve been there!).
So whether you are correcting your baby’s latch because of a bleeding nipple or you are a soon-to-be-mom who wants to master the basics of being a mother, here are the steps to guide you.
Proper Latch Technique Steps
Keep in mind that you have to make sure that your baby is taking more of the bottom of your areola. Here are the basic steps:
1. Make your baby open his mouth wide.
To do this, when he wants to feed, don’t immediately allow him to latch. Tease him first with your breast; he will instinctively open his mouth, but don’t give your breast yet. He will want to feed immediately so he would open his mouth wider to show his eagerness. That’s when you allow him to latch. If this doesn’t work, place your nipple on his lower lip, close to the chin. Then wait. Wait for the baby to drop his jaw. Be patient with this technique, your baby will eventually open his mouth wide. Doing this everytime he wants to feed helps your baby to develop proper rooting reflexes as well.
2. Insert the bottom areola first.
This way, you can be sure that he’ll be taking more of your areola and nipple. To do this, place a finger on the upper part of your areola to slightly lift the nipple (making your nipple point slightly upwards). Insert the bottom part of areola into your little one’s mouth followed by the nipple.
3. Double check to see if your baby’s jaw is dropped.
Your little one’s jaw should be dropped down, and he should be making long draws and gulps. If he is just making short ones and he is just latched on your nipple, you have to re-latch. Don’t just pull your nipple out though, as it would cause more nipple cracks. You must unlatch by inserting a finger into his mouth, making a sort of fishhook, then gently pulling your breast out. Repeat step 1.
If you’re still finding it difficult to achieve this proper latch technique, here’s a video from The Yellow Nursery that can help you:
Hope these steps help! If this article helped you or if you have any suggestions, please comment below.