Latching - Mother's e-Guide

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Basically, it refers to how the baby gets attached to the breast while breastfeeding. A good latch aids the flow of milk while reducing nipple discomfort for the mother. On the other hand, when a baby poorly attaches to the breast, he will not be able to consume the milk very well as a result of poor milk transfer from the mother’s breast. Nipples can quickly become sore and cracked. Breastfeeding becomes a painful activity; the baby will not be satisfied but hungry after feeding and eventually will not gain a tangible weight.

Signs of a good latch

Breastfeeding is a rewarding experience and when a baby is correctly attached to the breast, the following activities are noticeable:
  • The baby’s chin will be touching the breast and will be able to breathe through the nose.
  • The mouth is wide open with a mouthful of the nipple and the entire areola.
  • Movement of the baby’s jaw/ tongue squeeze the milk ducts to consume the milk via the nipple.
  • The baby starts with short sucks before sucking more slowly and rhythmically, takes long sucks and swallows (with some pauses).
  • His attachment to the breast and sucking does not hurt neither should the nipple be sore.
  • Finally, the baby finishes the feed- satisfied; he comes off the breast on his own.

Assisting the baby to achieve a good latch

A concerned mother will not leave the baby alone but try her best to make sure the baby feeds very well. It is when a baby has a good hold of the breast that he will feed gainfully. Babies can be helped to get properly attached to the breast; reasonably in the following ways:

Make sure the baby is attached to the breast in the right way. How?


Hold your baby’s whole body close to keep his nose level abreast with your nipple. Make sure his head and body are in a line and facing you, so he is not twisting his head or body awkwardly. Support your baby along his back and shoulders rather than his head - so he can move his head freely to attach to your breast.

Process 1
Breastfeed in a soothing manner: try different breastfeeding positions
then settle for the most pleasing. Be comfortable, likewise the baby. Pillows can be used
(as support for your back and arms or the baby) to achieve the desired comfort.

Encourage the baby to open his mouth. How?


Let your baby’s head tip back a little so that his top lip can brush against your nipple or touch your nipple gently against his upper lip. This should help your baby to make a wide open mouth.

Process 2
The newborn should be breastfed in a comfortable place away from distractions.

Look and listen instinctively for adjustment. When?


When your baby’s mouth opens wide, his chin should be able to touch your breast first, with his head tipped back so that his tongue can reach as much breast as possible.

Process 3
Bring your breast to your baby.

Keep baby close during latch on. Meaning?


With his chin touching your breast and his nose clear, his mouth should be wide open. You will see much more of the darker skin of your nipple above your baby’s top lip than below his bottom lip. Your baby’s cheeks will look full and rounded as they feed; while the mouth is firmly attached to the breast.

Process 4
If the baby will not suck then visit the hospital to diagnose him or her for any health problems.


Baby Not Breastfeeding: Likely Causes

  • Shape of the nipple such as flat or inverted nipples can hinder babies from breastfeeding well. Stimulating the nipples or using a breast pump before breastfeeding the baby can help to draw out the nipples and make it easier for the baby to latch correctly.

  • Birth Injury or disability can hinder the baby from feeding well on the breast milk.

  • The baby may be feeling sleepy.

  • Delay in the Production of Breast Milk: Primigravidae (i.e. first-time mothers) or mothers with certain health issues could experience delay which may take a few days before the breast will start to produce milk. This means the baby will have to wait; when the baby is eventually tired of waiting, he may start to refuse the breast.

  • Older babies too can refuse to breastfeed when either in pain, hormonal changes affect the taste of the milk or there is a low breast milk supply, the baby is feeling cold or getting distracted.

Baby Not Breastfeeding: Possible Solutions

Expressing milk: means squeezing milk out of the breast into a feeding bottle to feed babies.

express milk with manual Breast Pump
Manual Breast Pump For Expressing Milk
Express Milk By Hand
Milk Extraction - Manual (Hand)
express-milk-electronic Breast Pump
Electronic Pump for Milk Extraction
This method should be adopted responsively which means feeding the baby not just for nutrition, but also for love, comfort and reassurance between baby and mother. Practical Guide…

Infant Milk And Feeding Bottle
Prescribed Infant Formula: this is also the use of feeding bottles (to feed babies) with prepared formula milk - a synthetic version of mothers' milk and it belongs to a class of dairy substitutes. True responsive feeding is not possible when making use of bottle feeding since this risks overfeeding but the mother-baby relationship will be achieved if the mother holds her baby close during the feeding process and also if she is in sync with the feeding cues of the baby e.g. finger sucking, sticking out of tongue, restlessness etc.

Consult the Doctor, a Breastfeeding Specialist or Medical Health Professional for nutritional advice on Infant Formular Milk.

Infant Formular Milk

** Donour Human Milk

The first priority for infant feeding is to encourage the use of infant's mother's breast milk, but when this is not possible, human donour milk is another available option. Sometimes it is hard for mothers of premature babies to produce enough milk. Breast milk contains antibodies to protect children against infections; hence donour breast milk from "milk bank" comes in as alternative.
Donour Milk Bank


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