- Start by helping mom position herself comfortably.
Here a few basic positions to try,
Use pillows to help her support her arms and baby. Once baby is in a good position (ear, shoulder and hip aligned), encourage mom to use her hand, the web part between her thumb and pointer finger, to cradle the nape of baby’s neck so her head can slightly tip back a little placing her nose in the sniffing position. Have mom gently compress her breast and aim her nipple up towards baby’s nose.
- As baby’s mouth opens wide, have mom bring baby’s mouth in closer to her to latch (chin first).
Watch a quick video on getting a good latch here,
Once a new mom feels what a good latch is like, she will never forget it.
- Feel - A good latch may feel a little uncomfortable with the first several sucks as the nipple elongates, but in no less than a minute, the only sensation that she should feel is a tugging or nothing at all
- See – Watch as her new little one takes long slow sucks when the milk is flowing followed by several bursts of short sucks in between to initiate another flow of milk
- Hear – As let-down occurs, or the milk starts to flow, she should hear her baby swallowing. This may not be as evident the first few days of colostrum, but once the milk is in, it is hard to miss
Written by: Pamela K. Murphy, PhD, MS, APRN, CNM, IBCLC
Nurse-midwife, lactation consultant, OB nurse, educator, healthcare administrator, mother & wife