Tales 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.