Latching Baby Onto The Breast - How Do I Know If It’s Good?
Feeding support

Latching Baby Onto The Breast - How Do I Know If It’s Good?

Written by Hannah Hilton

Your baby has just been born, you’re excited, overwhelmed and exhausted all at once. You desperately want to try to breastfeed them so you’ve done all the research, and watched all the videos but yet, something isn’t quite right and you can’t figure out why.

Everyone is asking “Is the baby gaining weight? How’s breastfeeding going? Your latch looks great” But yet, you’re still unsure, so let’s start with the basics.

What does a good latch look like and how to do it?

ATTACHING TO THE BREAST – all positions

Baby’s head should be tipped back to enable to chin to come to the breast first

  • When the chin comes into contact with the breast, baby opens wide naturally when their chin touches the breast 
  • Mouth opens wide, nipple pointing up the nose towards the palate, ready to latch deeply.

LATCHED COMFORTABLY 

  • Bringing baby to the breast achieves a deep attachment
  • Latch should be comfortable without pain
  • Little to no areola is visible at the top lip
  • Baby’s chin and cheeks are all in contact with the breast
  • You’ll hear your baby swallowing regularly, 1 or 2 sucks per swallow throughout, with some short pauses.

Troubleshooting Common Latch Issues

Even with practice, achieving a good latch every time can be a challenge. Here are some solutions to common latch problems:

  • Shallow Latch (Only Nipple in Mouth): This can cause pain and poor milk transfer. Gently break the latch by inserting your clean finger into the corner of your baby’s mouth and then try relatching with a wider mouth opening.
  • Tongue Tie: If you suspect a tongue tie (restricted tongue movement), consult a lactation consultant or healthcare professional for evaluation and guidance.
  • Flat or Inverted Nipples: These can make latching initially difficult. There are techniques and tools like nipple shields that can help, so schedule a complimentary call for assistance.

Breastfeeding is a beautiful journey, but it can also present challenges.

If you’re facing difficulties, our IBCLC lactation consultant Nikki Mather can be a valuable resource in your journey; providing expert guidance, support, and encouragement to help you achieve your breastfeeding goals.

Book today for your personalised support plan.

Are You Ready To Experience The Difference?

Take the first step towards improved health and well-being. Contact The Olive Clinic in Warrington today to schedule your appointment.

Your health and the health of your family are our top priorities, and we’re honoured to be your partners on this journey to wellness.