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Breastfeeding Magazine

Latching on: Is My Baby Latching on Properly? How to Know



Is My Baby Latching on Properly?

Still wondering if your little sweetie is latching on properly? Here are some tips to help you determine if you are getting a good latch.

Breastfeeding Shouldn’t Hurt

Feeding your new little baby shouldn’t hurt. In fact, if there is any pain at all, this is a sign that your baby isn’t breastfeeding properly.

Take you infant off the breast – by putting your finger in your baby’s mouth and breaking the seal between her tongue and the roof of her mouth – and try again. (Do not just pull the baby off…that will hurt!) If you carry on feeding while you are hurting, you are very likely to end up with very sore nipples. (Ouch!)

If your baby starts to feed almost immediately after latching on, this is a good sign that she’s done it properly. Her feeding pattern should change from a few short, quick sucks to slow deep ones. While breastfeeding, she will probably pause a few times to catch her breath or rest. She will then start sucking again without you having to coax her into starting again.

Once You Baby is Nursing

Breastfeeding baby

Once your baby has started to breastfeed, look down at your baby. Her head should be tipped back. Her chin should be touching your breast, and her nose should be free. She should be able to breathe easily during the feed, without you needing to push your breast away from her nose.

Once your baby has started to nurse, she should relax and stay relaxed until the feed has finished. If she is wriggling around, she is probably not latching on well. (Sometimes babies may need to stop after a few minutes of feeding when milk is flowing at its fastest, in order to keep up.)

She should let go of the breast on her own when she’s finished, or will fall away if you raise your breast. Offer her the other breast. Don’t worry if it is refused…she may already be full.

This video is done by a midewife in the UK and is very helpful:

Still unsure?

You may still think your baby is not latching properly. If you continue to have any trouble with your baby’s ability to latch, ask a friend, your nurse or a lactation consultant for help. The benefits of breastfeeding are so great that it is worth the effort to keep trying.

Once your baby gets the hang of it, you should find that she will feed happily and easily almost every time.

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