Achieve a good latch on the baby to the breast, That is one of the most important keys for breastfeeding to be satisfactory for the child and for the mother. Therefore, it is a good idea to learn how to achieve it even before your son or daughter is born. To help you know everything about how to get the baby to have a good position and to suck correctly at the nipple, we have spoken with Pilar Martínez, consultant in breastfeeding.
'When the grip is good, generally everything is fine,' explains Pilar. It is for this reason that, when a woman comes to the consultation of a lactation consultant with a problem, the first thing she observes and analyzes is how the baby latches onto the nipple.
So what should the position of the baby's mouth and nipple be like for breastfeeding to be successful?
1. Get into a comfortable position. You will be spending a lot of time breastfeeding your baby, so it is important that you find one or more positions in which you are comfortable. Otherwise, your back could end up suffering. So it doesn't matter if you prefer to breastfeed in the cradle, lying, wheelie, or rugby position. The important thing is that you are comfortable that your baby latches on well.
2. When you are comfortable, take your baby and bring him closer to you (instead of getting closer to him). This is important because otherwise you could also end up with back discomfort.
3. For a good grip, the child has to open his mouth wide, so that it not only grasps the nipple, but also part of the areola. To help you have a correct position, you can put the tip of the nipple at the level of the child's nose, while keeping his chin resting on the chest. The idea is that the nipple is directed towards the soft palate. The baby's nose and chin may be close to the chest.
As indicated in the Breastfeeding Recommendations of the Breastfeeding Committee of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, the signs that indicate that the latch is good are: the baby's chin touches the breast, that the mouth is wide open, that the lower lip is out (or everted), that the cheeks are rounded or remain flat (but never sunken) when sucking and that more areola or above the baby's mouth are seen than below.
4. Regarding the posture of the baby's body, you must maintain the axis of the child's ear, shoulder and hip. These should be aligned and towards the mother. A position to avoid would be, for example, that the baby remains lying up with the head turned towards the chest.
At first, it is not so easy for the baby to latch on correctly to the breast. We can't expect you to get it right the first time. However, it is important to rectify the position as many times as necessary until the grip is as described above.
If you notice that the signs that denote a good grip are not met, it is necessary remove the baby from the breast to reattach. To do this, we can carefully insert the little finger (which has to be very clean!) In the child's mouth so that the vacuum that is created when he is sucking is broken.
Once it has been released, we will try to grip it again, but correctly. We must not allow the child to continue with the feeding if it has become badly attached to the chest, as it could cause some injuries. At the beginning, it is always necessary to check that the child is well placed; but over time, the child and the mother will get the hang of it and it will be an almost automatic process.
When the baby's grip is right, breastfeeding doesn't have to hurt. However, when we fail to get the baby to breastfeed according to the above recommendations, the following consequences may occur.
Cracks a small trauma to the nipple often caused by a poor grip. They are very painful, so it is recommended that a professional follow their evolution and advise us on the best way to prevent and treat them.
A bad grip can also lead to mastitis, which usually manifests as pain and redness in some part of the breast. Sometimes there may be a fever. You also need to receive treatment and advice from a lactation expert.
Blockages in the breast milk ducts can occur, which is also painful.
- Baby gets frustrated
On occasions, it may occur that due to the latch, the baby becomes frustrated and nervous when he does not receive the expected breast milk. It can even translate into not taking the weight you need.
In addition to learning about how to achieve a good latch on the baby to the breast, many moms wonder what they can do during pregnancy to prepare their nipples for breastfeeding. And they have heard about the terrible (and painful) cracks that can occur when breastfeeding and eagerly look for something to prevent them.
Well, as Pilar points out, there is no need to prepare the nipples during pregnancyor. This means that you do not have to buy specific creams or ointments or apply any type of home remedy so that the skin in the area does not suffer injuries. It is not even necessary to remove the nipple in case it is flat or inverted.
A woman's body is wise and is fully prepared to start breastfeeding when she gives birth.
You can read more articles similar to 4 keys to a good latch on the baby to the breast in breastfeeding, in the category of On-site Breastfeeding.