Holistic Babies London

When science meets holistic therapies

Holistic Babies London

When science meets holistic therapies

26. Jan, 2021

Simple Guide to Achieving Good Position & Attachment to obtain a "good latch"

I say it repeatedly: breastfeeding may not be the most the comfortable to start with, BUT it should not hurt. Pain is a signal to tell us something is not right!

How to get your baby to latch comfortably:

1- Make yourself comfortable first!
  • Bed, chair, sofa, whatever works for you, ensure you are comfortable.
  • Have water/ drinks/ snacks/ entertainment such as a movie or podcasts near you (I love podcasts or audio-book as it allows you to continue being present with your baby and maintaining eye contact). 

The first line of action is to correct the position (including yours) then, the attachment.

There are plenty of YouTube videos that show the exaggerated latch.
My favourite technique to achieve a deep latch is the asymmetrical latch.
We should keep our hands off when helping you latch your baby, but at times, you may need our guidance. Here is a video of Dr Jack Newman supporting a mother to achieve the asymmetrical latch:  

2- remove your baby clothes: in the early weeks, as you and your baby learn the skills of breastfeeding, removing clothing can help to achieve a better latch as the clothes often create a bulk between your baby and you. 

3- shift your baby's bottom towards your armpit, bring the chin to your breast first, and then wait for a big gaping of the mouth.

4- bring your baby to your breast to latch 


Remember:

  • Always offer the second breast.
  • If it hurts, take your baby off the breast and re-latch.
  • If you or your baby are getting stressed, it will create a negative association, take a break, hand your baby over, breathe, and start again. (To prevent screaming, offer your baby a clean finger to suck on).
  • Practice! Remember that you are both learning.
  • Get support from a breastfeeding specialist.
  • If your baby is very sleepy, apply breast compressions.

How do I know the latch was good?

  • No pain feeding
  • Nipple shape is not pencilled or lipstick shape
  • Breast feels softer
  • The baby fed calmly
  • No blanching of the nipple

I did all of those yet I could not latch my baby, why?

Sometimes, no matter how good your position and attachment techniques were, you cannot get a deep latch. It may be due to anatomical issues such as tongue-tie and torticolis. An experienced breastfeeding specialist can help you identify if this is the case and refer accordingly to the relevant professional.
Stephanie is the founder of Holistic Babies London and has worked for the past 12 years supporting mothers with breastfeeding challenges, both in the NHS and in the private sector. She has completed her required 90 hours of lactation theory and continues to support women in the London area as well as online.

For more information or to book an appointment, please contact admin@holisticbabies.co.uk