A good latch-on is the key to a good feeding. Regardless of the position you hold your baby, it is the latch-on which is very important.
Latching, basically means how the baby attaches to mum’s breast. The way your baby latches on can determine how successful you will be at breastfeeding.
When your baby attaches/latches correctly to your breast, the movements of her jaw and tongue squeeze the milk ducts, present below areola or the dark portion around the nipple to remove the breastmilk from your breast.This continuous removal of your breast milk allows baby to get both the Foremilk (milk rich in proteins, lactose, vitamins and minerals) and the Hind Milk (Rich in fats),which in-turn will help in healthy weight gain of the baby. It also signals your body to continue making more breastmilk.
Checkout for the signs for Good Latch-on..
Signs of a good latch-on
- Baby’s mouth is wide opened, more than 140 degrees
- Both upper and lower lips are flanged (rolled out)
- Baby’s face facing you, nose is free and chin touching the base of your breast.
- All or most of your areola is in the baby’s mouth. More from the bottom of the areola than the top (asymmetrical latch-on).
Latch-on is successful, but is the feeding going well.. Look out for the signs for good feeding
Signs of a good feeding
- Your baby nurses 8 or more times per day (24 hour day) and latches-on easily and comfortably.
- You hear swallowing at least every third suck once the milk comes-in, plus you see milk in the baby’s mouth
- Baby is consistently sucking with only brief pauses. The breasts are softer after feedings.
- Appropriate output for age. (1 wet diaper on day 1, 2 wet diapers on day 2, 3 wet diapers on day 3, 6 wet diapers on day 4 and on, and several stools each day)
- By 1 month 5-6 wet diapers , 2-3 soiled is a good indicator of good feeding
- When baby is sucking, you feel strong, deep, "pulling", sucking But, No sharp pain
- Leaking from the other breast or feeling of a "let- down" reflex or noticing a change in the baby’s sucking rhythm from faster to slower
- A good latch will ensure vigorous sucking on the breast
- Minimal weight loss during the first few days (<10% of birth weight) and return to birth weight by 2 weeks.
- Later gaining weight at the rate of 500gm-1kg/month for 1st 6 months
- You are comfortable during the feeding. There may be some “latch-on” pain that subsides quickly.
- No soreness or pain in the nipples during or after the feed.
- Remember, sharp pain or soreness in the nipples during or after the fed could be a sign of Poor latching. It should not nipple feeding but Breastfeeding. Correct Latching means successful Breastfeeding.
To conclude, A good latch right from the start can make breastfeeding easier and more comfortable. So, by investing some extra time into making sure your baby is latching on correctly can make all the difference in how successful you are at breastfeeding and how long you decide to breastfeed your baby.