How To Correct A Bad Breastfeeding Latch

How To Correct A Bad Breastfeeding Latch

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  1. One of the most common early problems when breastfeeding is having a bad latch. The latch is how the baby is attached to the breast when eating. A poor latch can cause anything from soreness to pain for mom, and inability to get full for baby. Correcting a bad latch can solve many early breastfeeding issues that may cause early weaning.

    The first step to working on a poor latch is to make sure the baby is not too hungry to eat correctly. Waiting until a baby is too hungry or tired can cause them to latch on improperly and hastily. Watch for the early hunger cues, such as rooting towards the mother, sucking on hands, and smacking lips. If the baby is crying or viably upset, it may be too hungry to latch on correctly.

    The position in which the mother holds the baby can sometimes be all the difference. The cradle hold is often the easiest for a new mother to breastfeed with. Hold the baby across the arm, with his bottom towards the elbow and his head towards the breast. Make sure that the baby is facing the breast completely. If he has to turn his head to the side to eat it is not correct.

    This position may not work for every mother. Some have more luck holding their infantin different positions, or nursing lying down with the infant next to her. Trying different positions until yo find the one that works is certainly worth the effort.

    How much of the breast an infant is actually getting into its mouth can also cause a bad latch. Some new mothers mistakenly beleive that just the nipple is needed when breastfeeding. An infant should have its moth wide open, with its chin touching the breast. At least some of the areola should be covered by the infant’s mouth when latched on correctly. A mother may need to encourage her infant to open its mouth wider to get a good latch.

    If a mother is still unable to get a correct latch, or if breastfeeding is still painful, she should contact a breastfeeding consultant to help. Contacting a local La Leche League or a local International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) will ensure that the help she gets is accurate and complete.

    Correcting a bad latch can take time. Some infants do not take to breastfeeding immediately, or may get into a habit of latching on incorrectly. Working to correct the latch may take several days, especially so if the infant also takes a bottle or pacifier. Despite this, working to get a good latch is very important in creating a long-lasting breastfeeding relationship.

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