Did you know most new moms do experience some pain when learning to latch their baby the first few times? Pain is common, BUT not normal. It is a signal instead that something isn't right. Keep reading and let me help you.
If you feel pain, it is usually that the baby doesn’t have the breast DEEP enough in their mouth. Your nipple should be so deep in the baby’s mouth that’s it’s where the soft palate is- that's right at the very back! Here, the nipple won’t be compressed between the tongue and hard palate and is free to let milk flow. You will know the latch is deep when it’s comfortable and you hear swallowing sounds.
I’m sharing some of my IBCLC tips about getting that deep comfortable latch! It always helps to start skin to skin with your baby.
Tip #1 - Flipple the nipple!
Point your nipple to the baby’s nose, wait for the rooting/ open mouth reflex and flip it in!
Tip #2 - Lean back!
This does 2 things: it calms the baby’s startle reflex so now the baby can open their mouth wider, it also uses gravity to push baby deeper to your body. Skin to skin is recommended to really allow baby to settle into a feed.
Tip #3 - Pay attention to baby's chin & lips.
Pull the chin down! If the latch seems uncomfortable at first, use a finger to pull the baby’s chin down further opening their jaw and flanging out their lower lip.
Tip #4 - Tummy to tummy.
Bring the baby’s hips closer to you. The baby will be able to achieve a deeper latch if tummy to tummy with you and their hands and arms are not across their chest. Bringing in their hips tends to help them extend their head a bit and be nice and close to you.
Tip #5 - Head Extension.
Remove your hand from the baby’s head! When your hand is on the baby’s head, it tends to flex it forward, which makes it nearly impossible for the baby to open wide and get deep. Instead, move your hand to baby’s body and shoulder blades and let them control their head- yes even newborns can do it! When they bring their head back with their nose in the air they have lots of space to open nice and wide for a big mouthful of breast.
Tip #6 - Hand Expression!
If your breast is hard and full, it will make it more difficult for your baby to get the right amount breast in their mouth. Try using your hands to express just enough to soften the breast up before latching.
If you want to see more, I am on YouTube! Click below to see my latest 'Flipple the Nipple' video.
Any more tips you want to add? Please share them below and comment to let me know if you try any of these! I would love to hear from you.
If you need any further help, please reach out I would be more than happy to support you further with a one to one consultation.