How to Correct a Poor Latch On

Breast milk is the first and best gift you give your newborn. Proper latching — the act of your baby suckling the nipple and areola for feeding — is vital for conducive drinking. A poor latch-on prohibits your baby from pulling out your milk and can cause cracked and painful nipples.

  1. Un-swaddle your baby and change his diaper. He must be fully awake and comfortable before feeding.
  2. Hold the baby’s head with one hand and your breast with the other. Gently squeeze your breast to flatten the areola area to fit in her mouth. Softly stroke her cheek with your thumb to induce her to open her mouth wide.
  3. Quickly bring his mouth to your breast. Make sure his lips are flared out (like a fish) and encompassing your nipple and areola. Check that his chin and tip of nose are touching the breast. This will ensure the proper amount of your breast is in his mouth.
  4. 4 Ensure your baby is drinking and not just nuzzling against your breast. If you hear a clicking noise coming from his mouth he is not drinking. Unlatch him and re-latch until you hear him actually swallowing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Your baby must take most or all of your areola into his mouth when latching on. This will compress your milk sinuses and cause the milk to release and flow correctly to your nipple.
  • A correct latch-on will feel like a strong pull rather than a pinch. A biting sensation is indicative of a poor latch-on.

-Tammy Moore, eHow Contributor

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