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Start off your breastfeeding journey right with these tips to get a lovely latch with your newborn!
Hello there, time to put your mom pants on and get your new love bug Latched!
Latching your newborn babe can be intimidating. I read tons and tons of information before the birth of my first child. It was a great place to start. Although it was a bit overwhelming. Every mom wants the best for their baby and I was no different.
As I held my newborn boy, I was ready to jump in. While at the same time I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. Have you ever done your research on something and when the time comes to feel lost? That was me.
I found myself back on my phone searching for help. Luckily a friend added me to her breastfeeding support group on Facebook (which I totally recommend doing yourself).
All you have to do is search breastfeeding under groups and join some. Just like that, you can be a fly on the wall. I did this the first few months of my first son’s life.
I learned everything I could. And through trial and error I prevailed.
After breastfeeding my two milky pros I am so excited to share my tips with you. These are all tips I wish someone would have given me.
I’m here to give you the best tools to get YOU and baby comfortable. Let’s jump in.
Latching? What’s a Latch?
- This is just a term for how your baby attaches to the breast to get all that milky goodness.
So why is the latch so important?
- More milk for baby when they are latched on deeply and property.
- If you’re new to breastfeeding you might not know, you can’t let a newborn suck your boob in all willy-nilly. That’s a recipe for disaster.
- An improper latch could result in baby not getting enough milk and therefore not gaining enough weight.
- There’s going to be less pain or discomfort for mama with a decent latch.
- You can avoid cracked or super sore nipples.
#1 Express a little milk/ colostrum onto your nipple
- Colostrum is the good stuff before the milk comes in. This thick yellow liquid is full of just the right balance of nutrients. It’s packed with antibodies to keep your baby well. Colostrum is a ‘complete food” and all your newborn needs the first 3-4 days.
- Gently hand Express some of that liquid gold and rub some on your nipple.
- This will entice your mini me to latch on by smell!
- It also has healing properties so it will help those sore nips outs!
#2 Start out nipple to nose
- Line up babe’s nose with your nipple so they will need to tilt their head back to latch
- Use a pillow or blanket to get baby on right level and supported.
- This will help them latch properly.
- It’s easier for baby to swallow with their head back.
#3 Use one hand for your sweet pea and one for milk maker
- Have baby in cross cradle position. This is a great position to latch a newborn.
- Use one hand to guide baby to the goods by placing your hand at the base of their head.
- You’ll have your other hand to support your breast in a gentle C hold.
- Then you can rub babes nose with your nipple to interest them.
#4 Don’t latch till baby’s mouth is as wide as possible
- Wait till baby opens mouth BIG similar To a yawn.
- Then quickly bring baby to breast. Not the other way round.
- This will help them latch deeper.
- More boob in mouth = comfortable latch
- They don’t have to have the whole areola in their mouth but the more the better.
#5 Get the right angle/technique
- Aim to have your nipple in the direction of baby’s nose/ roof of their mouth as you are latching.
- Lower jaw, than the upper jaw in a rolling motion!
- Come in from the top of baby’s mouth
- Try to get a greater amount of lower breast in the mouth
- Experiment with different angles and stick with the most comfortable, pain free latching technique.
#6 Don’t wait till baby is overly hungry to latch.
- Your cranky buttercup will have a hard time latching it you wait too long to feed.
- Newborns nurse 8-12 times a day in the first month.
- It’s always better to just offer sooner before they are really worked up.
- You can not over feed a breastfed baby!
- Just look for hunger cues such as hands in the mouth, turning head side to side with mouth open(rooting).
#7 Kick people out if you need to feed
- It’s gonna take practice and patience getting’s the latch just right.
- Don’t feel bad if you need lots of time to figure it all out.
- You do not need an audience of family and friends watching.
- Don’t feel guilty for making breastfeeding a priority.
#8 Don’t be afraid to relatch
- If it’s clearly a bad latch(only nipple in mouth) pop the seal with your finger and try again.
- You could always switch sides too.
- Just don’t over do it and relach too many times. Then you and milk thirsty little will both be frustrated and you sore.
#9 Use a nipple cream
- Although extreme pain is not normal slight discomfort is far from abnormal.
- You will most likely get a little sore from all that latching in the first week. It’s totally normal.
- Use either a nipple cream or coconut oil. Just make sure its edible so you don’t have to wash it off.
- Start using it day one! No need to start before but get going as soon as your baby starts nursing.
- Use in between feeds.
- It’s best to get a head start before you’re hurting.
#10 Utilize a lactation consultant
- Most hospitals will have a lactation consultant on staff. All you have to do is ask your nurse to send one by.
- Make sure to have them look at your latch. Don’t worry, they look at boobs for a living.
- You will have to pay if you need additional assistance after you leave Hospital. So definitely take advantage of the booby expert if one is available.
- Seriously pick their brain if you can. I’ve spent lots of time talking to many amazing breastfeeding consultants. Their knowledge is priceless.
- I would definitely recommend finding a nurse practitioner who is also Board Certified Lactation Consultant and using them as you are babies primary care physician. I did this and it was freaking awesome!
Here are all the signs you’re kicking ass at this latching thing?
- You can hear swallowing.
- That little ear is a wiggling.
- There is little to zero discomfort during and after feedings.
- Your cutie is having 1 Wet diaper per day of life.
So 1 wet on day 1, 2 wet on day 2, etc.
5-6 wet diapers after your milk come in.
- Lips are flipped out, think selfie duckface.
- Those tiny hands are relaxed after they eat.
- They drift off to dreamland as they go into a milky coma.
You and your sweetheart are going to be learning together. Be patient, and don’t give up!
Practice makes perfect 🍾🥂
You got this, mama bear!!!
Got any more great tips for latching newborns? Share below because sharing is caring.
Till next time, happy nursing!