A baby needs to have a good latch to breastfeed effectively. Here are some tips to help your baby create a great latch and reduce nipple soreness for you!
1. Position yourself comfortably. The baby should have his nose in front of your nipple. His ears, shoulders and hips should be in a straight line and pointing towards the ceiling.
2. For a good latch, the baby needs to open his mouth wide. Opening wide is so important. To release the milk, the baby must draw the nipple to the back of his mouth where the hard and soft palates meet. To do this, the baby's gums need to bypass the nipple completely and take in a large mouthful of areola. Babies are born with a reflex that causes them to open their mouths wide when properly stimulated. To trigger this reflex, lightly tickle or brush your babies lips with the nipple and wait until the baby opens his mouth. How wide does his mouth need to open? The baby should open wide like a yawn. Check out this beautiful baby pictured below. He is 40 minutes old in this picture and just practicing latching on!
3. Once your baby's mouth is open wide, pull him onto the breast quickly and gently chin first. Aim your nipple to the roof of the babies mouth. The lower jaw should connect with the breast first, as far as possible from the base of the nipple with his chin pressing into the breast.
4. Once the baby is latched on, ensure you are holding the baby closely. His lips should be flanged out and relaxed. I call this fish lips. Check out the fish lips on this baby about two hours after birth!
5. Enjoy your sweet baby nursing and be proud of yourself for giving your baby the best start in life!