Figuring out how to get a good latch can feel like getting the keys to the breastfeeding universe. Here are some tips to get your started:
- Offer your whole breast rather than just your nipple
- Raise your baby to your breast rather than leaning towards your baby
- Once attached, you shouldn’t be able to see your nipple or most of the areola
- Watch and listen for your baby’s swallows and a slight pause with every gulp
- It might feel a little tender in the beginning, but your feeds should be painfree
If you feel, hear or see that your baby hasn’t latched on properly, gently place your finger in the corner of their mouth and remove them from your breast when you see their mouth open. Doing this early will help prevent damage to your nipples.
Letdown reflex is where the magic happens. By suckling on your breast, your baby triggers the release of a hormone called oxytocin in your body. It’s known as the happy hormone, but here it also makes your milk glands contract and eject milk. Many women experience it as a slight pulling sensation in their breast or notice when their baby’s sucking slows.