Breastfeeding is the most nutritious and sustenance diet a child can get and is totally worth the effort and problems faced by mothers. It’s the perfect healthy base that is every child’s right as it boosts the immune system like no other thing in the world. But breastfeeding is more convoluted and would-be mothers must take breastfeeding classes from birthing centers to ensure a proper latch.

 The instructors exemplify latching with dolls or videos so that the uneasiness and reluctance go out of the window. They will prepare you for all sorts of things that could come up like a drop in milk supply that can be tackled with breastfeeding cookies that surge the milk supply and bring it back on track.  When the baby arrives, you are fully prepared and ready to embrace motherhood in full swing.

A good and appropriate latch is absolutely crucial and must be given due importance. The way your baby takes your nipple and areola into the mouth to suckle is known as latching on. Without a proper latch, the baby won’t be able to draw the maximum amount of milk from the breasts. This will lead to a decline in the milk as the breasts will not be stimulated enough to increase milk supply and a vicious cycle of demand and supply will start which will have dire consequences.

This will be distressing, agitating, and very tiring for the child as the effort he is putting will drain him thus resulting in an unfilled stomach and a poor weight gain. Mothers can have sore and cracked nipples making them super sensitive and mighty painful, further making the breastfeeding process unattainable.

Babies are instinctual and are designed to breastfeed and latching on mothers’ breasts. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need any assistance. You can get command on it with patience, time, and persistence.  Trial and error will teach you so many things about how to you and your little one is comfortable and settled as this is going to be a normal routine thing for at least 12-18 months.

An ideal latch means that the baby is not only sucking the nipple but the surrounding areola as well. Although the milk comes from the various tiny openings of the nipple, the baby needs to compress the areola with the gums to actually get the milk flowing and for the production of the new milk. A pro tip is to get your baby checked by the lactating expert to see if the baby has a tongue-tied or any other hurdle that can come in between a good latch. For a healthy baby breastfeed is vital and a good latch twines everything perfectly.

Here are some foolproof ways to ensure a good latch that will eventually lead to a happy, healthy baby.

  1. Get in a comfortable position

Find a relaxed, comfortable, and private place where you can nurse without any qualms. Make sure your back is secured (pun intended) with a pillow or cushion to support as it will take some time. Experts have devised that a 45-degree angle in a reclined position is usually good but you can alter as per your comfort, as long as the main motive is achieved. Try to lay back with your baby in a way that his tummy is touching your tummy and try not to lean into the baby. This will fatigue you and breastfeeding needs your energy.

  1. Positioning and aligning the baby

A good latch requires the baby’s head, neck, shoulders, spine, and hips are aligned and not twisted, this will make swallowing and digestion easier. Also, the nose of your little one should be opposite the nipple to make sure the breathing is easy.

  1. Aid the latch by cupping and holding your breasts

Mothers need to use their hands effectively to make sure the latching is easy for the baby. Place your thumb above the nipple and areola and the forefinger at the place where the baby's chin will come in contact with the breast. Cup your breast in a way that makes room for the child’s mouth to adjust properly and there is enough room to open the mouth and breathe. Don’t let your fingers become an obstacle to keep them away from the nipple.

  1. Guide the baby toward your breasts

I will highly advise to start breastfeeding as soon as you can after delivering the baby. In this way, you will be able to tap into the baby’s inherent and intrinsic ability to latch on. Skin to skin touch with your baby will trigger his instincts. Tickle your baby’s top lip with your nipple to allow the reflexes to kick in. When he has opened the mouth wide enough, let your breasts slide in the mouth, make sure that baby latches on to the nipple and areola. Babies usually don’t get hold of the entire areola, just be sure that good part is in.

  1. Break a bad latch

To have a good latch, never settle for anything short of it. If the mother feels a biting or pinching sensation throughout the feeding time then the latch was not proper. If the baby is only grabbing the nipples and not the areola then put your clean finger in the mouth and break the latch. Start again and this time, keep in mind all the above-mentioned tips for a perfect latch.

Good latch signs for mommies

A good latch is a mother’s success (yay!!) and one must know how to identify one. First of all, it should not be at all painful. There should be no uneasy feeling, no tenderness, sensitivity, or soreness on the breasts after the nursing. Infant’s mouth should be opened wide enough like a yawn and he has a mouthful of the areola and just the nipple. Look for a fish lips and there shouldn’t be any smacking or clicking noises. Mother can hear the swallowing, look at the rounded cheeks and wiggling ears. Chin and nose are touching the breasts. At the end of the feeding session, the child must be visibly relaxed and satisfied. If these signs are present, congratulations mommy you have done it!!

Author's Bio: 

Linda Johnson is an author par excellence; she has done outstanding work in writing. Based in the city of Cheyenne in Wyoming, USA she has made the entire Cheyenne proud due to her unconventional writing and thought-provoking pieces. Her writing style is layered but having said that it is not difficult to grasp. Linda’s writing has the power to transform readers into avid, devoted readers. If you are a sucker for blogs that are meaningful, interesting, stimulate imagination and give fact-based information then Linda Johnson blogs are for you. She has won many accolades for her awe-inspiring writing and continues to work her way up. A wife of an accountant, mother of two boys and a pup, a devoted writer and an ardent traveler, Linda has enough exposure to write blogs