Tales from the hospital newborn rounds with the medical students. What is a good latch?

IMG_3419Tales from the hospital newborn rounds with the medical students.  What is a good latch?  As a follow-up to my breastfeeding blog, I was asked how to make sure the infant has a good latch onto the breast.

This is an issue all by itself.

Signs of good positioning and latch as below

  • The infant’s cheeks are rounded, not sunken or dimpled
  • The infant’s mouth is wide open before mom places the infant on the breast
  • The infant’s nose is free from the breast (so the baby can breathe through its nose)
  • The infant’s chin is pressed against the breast.
  • If any of mother’s areola is visible, more is seen above the infant’s top lip, with little showing near the chin.
  • The infants upper and lower lip are flanged outward, not sucked in.
  • The infant and mother are “tummy to tummy.”
  • Feeding is not painful to the mother after the initial minute.  I liken breastfeeding to attaching a vacuum-attachment to your breast.  Not enjoyable, but it should not be painful either.
  • The infant has a rhythmic suck-and-swallow pattern.  You should be able to hear baby gulping.
  • If baby falls asleep at the breast, undress baby and rub its feet.  The milk and mom’s skin is nice and warm so the newborn may need a little discomfort (being undressed and rubbing its feet) to keep it awake.

If you need help, see your physician or lactation consultant.  I hope this helps.

About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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