latch problems

Help With Latch Problems

Ask yourself these three questions to identify latch problems and then consult with a lactation consultant to remedy the issue.

Are you in pain? 

Many moms report that their breasts can be tender at first until both they and their baby find comfortable breastfeeding positions and a good latch. Once you have done this, breastfeeding should be comfortable.  If it hurts, your baby may be sucking on only the nipple. Gently break your baby's suction to your breast by placing a clean finger in the corner of your baby's mouth and try again.

Also, your nipple should not look flat or compressed when it comes out of your baby's mouth. It should look round and long, or the same shape as it was before the feeding.

Are you or your baby frustrated?

Take a short break and hold your baby in an upright position. Try holding him or her between your breasts, skin-to-skin. Talk, sing or provide your finger for sucking for comfort. Try to breastfeed again in a little while. Or, the baby may start moving to the breast on his or her own from this position.

Does your baby have a weak suck or make only tiny suckling movements?

Break your baby's suction and try again. He or she may not have a deep enough latch to remove the milk from your breast. Talk with a lactation consultant or pediatrician if your baby's suck feels weak or if you are not sure he or she is getting enough milk. Rarely, a health problem causes the weak suck.

Updated June 6, 2016

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