Breastfeeding Position and Latch
Hello, friends, welcome to Best for Babies today in this article has been developed to teach you how to position and latch your baby for effective breastfeeding before feeding observes your baby for the following feeding cues the early cues are.
- stirring, rapid eye movent during the sleep
- sucking sound, or soft cooing and sighing
- mouth movements
- head-turning towards what is touching the face
The mid cues are stretching
- increasing physical movement and hand to mouth
- the late cue is a crying agitated baby
- take the time to calm your crying or agitated baby before you attempt the latch.
There are many different breastfeeding positions
the best position is the one that feels most comfortable for you and your baby, breastfeeding may take time to learn every feeding attempt at the breast should be seen as a positive step in developing a breastfeeding relationship.
ENVIRONMENT AND PREPARATION
And till breastfeeding is established pumping will need to be maintained and coordinated with feeding attempts it is recommended that pumping be done immediately after the feed so that a full breast is offered to your baby however there are some exceptions, when partial pumping before the feed is recommended this could be the case if you have a large milk supply and or if your baby is just beginning to breastfeed
A breastfeeding pillow or folded blanket can be used to bring the baby up to your breast level if the baby’s temperature is stable it is recommended to feed in just a diaper to allow for skin-to-skin contact this may also help keep the baby more alert and awake throughout the feed.
Taking the time to position the baby well will lead to a better latch and more effective feeding for any position the following are important you should be sitting comfortably with your back well supported and relaxed baby’s shoulders and body are supported with your hand and arm baby’s head is at your breast level baby’s ear shoulder and hip are in alignment.
baby needs to be tummy to tummy with you except when you use the football hold your nipple should be pointed towards the baby’s nose with the chin coming to the breast first if this is not the case move the baby, not the breast this will allow for proper positioning of the nipple in the baby’s mouth which results in a more comfortable latch and effective compression of the milk ducts two positions that work well for babies who are first learning to breastfeed are
The cross-cradle is the most common breastfeeding position because it provides the baby with the most support and assistance to latch see how the parent is sitting comfortably and while supported the breastfeeding pillow raises the baby to the breast level so that the parent maintains good posture and the baby is well supported
the baby is on its side completely facing the parents body with the ear shoulder and hip aligned notice the skin-to-skin contact the baby is supported by the arm opposite to the breast being used the back and the bottom are supported with the forearm and the neck and the shoulders are cradled with the hand do not hold the back of the baby’s head as this puts the baby in a difficult position to latch, the head is slightly tilted back
so that the baby is coming to the breast chin first this is often referred to as a sniffing position the parents another hand is supporting the breast and if necessary the breast can be shaped to help the baby latch for latching difficulties try shaping the breast to match the baby’s mouth hold and squeeze the breast by placing the thumb and finger far enough back from the areola the darker area around the nipple
so that they are not interfering with the latch the breast is squeezed and narrowed enough for the baby to latch easily this is often referred to as a sandwich of the breast.
The football hold is another common position and may be more comfortable after cesarean section more pillows or blankets may be required there must be adequate room for the baby’s legs behind the parents back this may mean moving forward and to one side of the chair
there are two variations the baby can be lying on their back or on their side, either way, the baby is tuck
ed and close to the parent see how the baby’s neck and shoulders are well supported with the parent’s arm and hand notice how the baby has the nipple opposite the nose for effective latching
the head is slightly tilted back so that the baby is coming to the breast chin first if needed the parent has a hand free to support or sandwich the breast the cradle hold is usually used for babies who are latching well and required less support and assistance to feed
the baby may be transitioned into the cradle position after latching in the cross-cradle position the baby’s body is still completely facing the parent skin-to-skin the baby’s neck is supported in the crook of the parents elbow and the forearm supports the back with the hand at the baby’s bottom or hips the other hand can be used to support or sandwich the breast if extra support is required with positioning and latching there are specialized positions and techniques available.
the right position is whatever is most comfortable for you and your baby and allows for a good latch and effective breastfeeding try different positions to see what is best.
once the baby is in the correct position a good latch is more likely to encourage baby to latch hand Express the drop of milk to give your baby a taste stroke your baby’s upper lip with your nipple to encourage rooting and a wide-open mouth remember to break the contact between the nipple and the baby’s upper lip to encourage the baby to tilt the head upwards and open the mouth wider wait for a wide-open mouth as if the baby is yawning
then bring the baby to the breast chin first do not stretch the breast or bring the breast into your baby’s mouth make sure the tongue is down and over the lower gum line if your baby is crying the tongue will be touching the roof of the mouth and it makes it hard to latch in this case you need to calm the baby before latching usually offering a clean finger to suck on for a moment will work otherwise bring the baby upright onto your chest skin-to-skin and Stroke the back gently.
once the baby is latched look for the following
- a wide-open mouth
- the angle of the corner of the mouth should be greater than 130 to 150 degrees
- the corners of the mouth don’t touch
- the baby’s chin is touching the breast the baby comes to the breast chin first
- the head is slightly tilted back and the nose is not touching the breast
- the latch is asymmetrical this means that more of the areola can be seen above the baby’s top lip than below the bottom lip
- the lips are flanged out.
if the nose is going into the breast, tuck the baby bottom closer into you remember to move the baby, not the breast. for latching difficulties try to sandwich in the breasts.
breastfeeding should not be painful the tip of the nipple needs to be where the top of the mouth becomes soft run your tongue along the roof of your mouth to where it becomes softer to feel how far back this is
when the latch is not deep enough the baby has the nipple at the front of the mouth compressing the nipple between the tongue and the hard palate this can be painful and may cause damage to the nipple as we
ll as decrease the amount of milk flow to the baby see the difference in the milk flow when the areola is compressed rather than just the nipple to break the latch place the finger into the corner of the baby’s mouth and gently push the jaw down.
how do you know when to switch breasts when effective swallows are no longer observe to ensure that your baby gets more of the calorie-rich milk that is found closer to the end of the feed.
remember to pump immediately after feeds if breastfeeding is not yet established to protect the milk supply.