Getting Your Baby to Latch On
A baby's face is specially designed for breastfeeding; she will have a snub nose and receding chin that make room for your breast. A proper latch on is the start to successful breastfeeding. Follow the tips below to make sure that you are both getting all the benefits out of breastfeeding.
Get Your Baby to Open Wide
If you tickle your baby's bottom lip with the nipple, your baby should open his mouth wide. Now is the time to strike, because your baby will close her mouth as quickly as she opened it. Pull your baby to your breast with your arm. Remember, you don't want to move yourself to the baby, as this could make for an improper breastfeeding position.
Proper Latch On
Once your baby has opened her mouth, be sure that she gets about an inch of the surrounding areola in her mouth. Your nipple should be pulled into the back of the baby's throat to make suckling easier. If only your nipple is being sucked, then you will get sore nipples after about 2-3 feedings. Another reason to get your baby latched on to the areola is to reach the milk sinuses that lie right behind this area. To get enough milk, the baby needs to clamp down on these sinuses. Additionally, a proper latch on is necessary to help avoid nursing blisters.
Make sure your baby's lips evert, or are pushed out while latching on. She should be making a little 'fish mouth' face. If her bottom lip is inverted, gently press on her chin so that her lip pops out. Alternately, use the index finger that is supporting the breast to gently pull out the lip.
The baby will probably be able to breathe out the sides of her nostrils. If she isn't, hold back your breast tissue with your fingers.
Was breastfeeding your newborn more difficult then you expected it to be? How did you overcome it? Visit Pregnancy Stories to share your tale of breastfeeding your baby.
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