Position and latch

Positioning

 Tummy to Mommy, Nose to Nipple. This is enables the best latch and can be used in all different breastfeeding positions: cross-cradle, cradle, football, side-lying, and reclined. Baby's Best Chance has some good diagrams for positions (p 99).

  • Place your baby’s tummy against you. Position the nose level with your nipple. Support baby’s head, neck and back with your hand and arm. Support and sandwich the breast with the other hand if needed. Have your fingers well back from the areola so there is room for baby to latch on.
  • Tickle baby’s upper lip gently with your nipple. Following baby’s lead: the mouth will open wide and bring the baby quickly onto the breast when the mouth is wide open (but not during a yawn or a cry). The chin comes against the breast first. The nose may rest on the breast or be slightly away from the breast. If baby sounds “stuffy”, pull her bottom in closer to your body, or tip her head back slightly.
  • The baby needs to latch deeply for you to be comfortable. If the latch hurts, break the suction by putting your finger into the corner of baby’s mouth and start over. Your baby will learn to latch well with time and practice.
  • Remember that breastfeeding is not “nipple feeding”. Babies need to have a big mouthful of the breast- this will include the areola.

Latch

** A good latch and position is most important in feeding baby, protecting against sore nipples and making a good milk supply** 

Watch and listen to see if your baby is feeding well:

Is baby’s mouth open wide?
Did baby latch deeply with a big mouthful of breast?
Are there pauses between sucks?
Do you hear swallowing? Swallows may sound like soft clicks 
How many sucks before the baby swallows? They will become more frequent as your milk supply increases.
Seek advice and assistance if needed. 

Signs that your baby is ready to breastfeed:

 A baby does not have to be fully awake to latch and feed. Watch for early feeding cues such as stirring and stretching motions that happen before the baby is fully awake. The drowsy period is an ideal time for your baby to self attach. Some feeding cues include:

  • bringing hands to mouth, rooting (moves head as if looking for your nipple)
  • mouth opening, lip licking, sucking
  • clenching fingers and fists over chest and tummy, bending arms and legs, or fussiness

**Crying is a late sign of hunger**

If you are having difficulty with latch:

Common Breastfeeding Positions:  A great visual here as well as some very good videos.

If you are having difficulty with latch,
Laid back nursing position may work for you: see these  links.