Latching problems can be extremely frustrating for a new mother. Instead of getting discouraged, remember these tips when feeding time rolls around:

  • Make sure you are comfortable before you begin breastfeeding – use pillows and sit in a supportive chair
  • Increase skin-to-skin contact with your baby and/or use a sling or carrier to keep your baby close during feeding sessions
  • Make sure your baby opens wide and then quickly bring your baby to your breast (not your breast to your baby)
  • If your baby doesn’t latch on right away, simply move your baby off your breast, take a break, and try again
  • Massage your breast towards the nipple to encourage milk flow
  • Squeeze drops of colostrums on the nipple to encourage your baby

Still unsure? Here’s how to check for a good latch:

  • Baby has a good mouthful of breast
  • Baby’s gums should bypass the nipple and cover about one inch of the breast tissue
  • Baby’s lips should be turned out, not tucked in
  • Baby’s nose should be resting against your breast

Remember that if the latch is not good, simply take a break and try again. A bad latch can lead to sore, cracked nipples and prevents your baby from getting enough milk. You should not feel pain beyond the initial 30 – 60 seconds of initial latch-on discomfort.

Most importantly, remember to keep positive and give it time! Your baby will do better at some feedings more than others. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and consult a breastfeeding counsellor if the problem persists. La Leche League is a great international organization dedicated to helping mothers who want to breastfeed their babies. Use the following link to find a leader or group near you:
Find a La Leche League Leader or Group Near You

References Breastfeeding How to latch / Positioning and Latch-On / Ineffective Latch-On or Sucking / When a Baby Won't Nurse / Common Problems When You Begin Breastfeeding / Ineffective Latch-On