Here’s how you can help your baby latch properly:
Best Positions to Help Your Baby Latch Correctly
- Cradle Position:
The cradle position involves placing the baby on your lap and resting her by the sides and use your pillows to lift the baby up to nipple height along with your elbows as support. Your baby’s head will rest on your forearm along with her back and shoulders on the inner palm and arm. If positioned correctly, while looking down, you will see only the sides.
- Cross Cradle Position:
A variation of the cradle position where you use pillows to rest your elbows and breastfeed your baby. The cross-cradle position involves making a U-shape by supporting your breast with your left hand (if you’re breastfeeding with your left breast).
You support your baby’s head with the fingers of your right hand and place them gently behind your baby’s ears. The baby’s head rests between the left hand’s thumb, index finger and the right hand’s palm for adequate support, thus forming a “second neck” for the baby.
- Football Position:
Preferred by mothers ho have had a C-section, have twins, have small babies, or big breasts, this hold may take some time to master.
Place a pillow next to you, and cradle the baby in your arm facing upward, so that the baby’s neck is supported by the same hand. Tuck the baby close to your side so that the feet and legs are tucked under your arm. The baby is then encouraged to latch on from this position.
- Side lying position:
Ideal for mothers who have had a C-section, this position allows you some much needed rest as you nurse.
Lie on your side with your baby next to you and facing you so that the nose is next to the nipple. You can either cradle the baby’s neck with your lower arm, or use a rolled up receiving blanket as support for the baby’s neck, and use the other hand to support your breast.
Here are the signs of proper breastfeeding latching amongst babies:
Things to Remember
- No pain: If the breastfeeding process feels smooth and less painful, then you’ve latched your baby on properly.
- Comfortable positioning: Put pillows behind your lower back for added support.
- Nipple inside baby’s mouth: When you’re breastfeeding correctly, the entire nipple should be inside the baby’s mouth
- Tummy-to-tummy position: Position your baby in a way that her tummy faces yours during the breastfeeding process.
- Wide mouth: Encourage your baby to open his mouth wide during the breastfeeding process.
Here are a couple of points for expecting moms and for those who need further breastfeeding latching tips:
- Learn to Breastfeed: If you’re new to breastfeeding, take a couple classes in prenatal care and attend breastfeeding classes at your local hospital or birthing centre.
- Find Your Ideal Position: Getting comfortable is the first note of good latching technique. Experts recommend getting a latch at a reclined position (preferably 45 degrees) in the beginning and adjust it according to your needs until you hit the sweet spot.
- Breastfeed as Soon as Possible: Babies breastfeed instinctively and the earlier you start the better it is, as their reflexes kick in upon skin-to-skin contact.
- Setup Your Baby Right: Make sure your baby latches on properly by touching the baby’s chin against your breast along with her cheeks.
- Look Out for Abnormalities: In some cases, your nipples may feel sore, compressed, bleed or cracked after a breastfeeding session. Please consult your healthcare department and be wary of any other out of the normal breastfeeding signs.
If you need help with breastfeeding techniques, consult your prenatal care department in your hospital or ask a paediatric specialist.