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How To Latch Your Baby On

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The "Latch On"
In Pictures and Video


Latching your baby on the right way is so very, very important. Both for baby, to assure they get the most milk possible, and for mama, to make certain that there is no discomfort, and mama's breast and nipple stay healthy and pain free. If you have any questions about latching your baby on, please feel free to call me!

Call Me Today For Help!


It is vital that your enviornment be one of comfort and support, so that you and baby have the best chance for success!

Here are the key points:

1. Baby Lightly Clothed.
An overdressed baby will fall asleep fast at the breast, increasing the challenge of getting a good feeding. Maximize bare skin-to-skin contact, as this is vital to the baby's overall health, demeanor, and well being. Good skin-to-skin contact also increases mother's milk supply.

2. Good Support!
You want your baby to be even with your breast, not laying low down in your lap. You do NOT want to lean over the baby to feed the baby. You want to be leaning slightly back, semi-reclined and comfortable. Again, skin to skin. Lift your shirt, don't just nurse through the opening in your nursing top if at all possible. If possible, remove your bra (when at home for instance) and get maximum skin to skin with your baby. Remember, your breast is not a bottle. Don't try to hold your breast in such a way that you are attempting to bottlefeed your baby your breast.

3. Draw baby near to you
Tummy to tummy, skin to skin. As much contact between mother and baby as possible.
4. Speak soothingly to your baby
During this time use a soft voice, not only to keep baby calm and relaxed, but also to keep you calm and relaxed. You are both new to this, give yourself time and patience!
Wait for the wide mouth!

The success of the latch is based on 3 things:
1. Good positioning, SKIN TO SKIN, Nose to nipple, wait for baby to raise her chin to latch on!

2. Good support

3. A WIDE mouth on the baby

Erect your nipple and then tickle baby's upper lip and the tip of baby's nose with the end of the nipple until baby opens the mouth WIDE. If you are using a nipple shield, use the end of the shield to tickle the top lip.

Once the mouth gapes wide, allow the baby to discover the breast, Nose to nipple. When baby opens, bring baby chin first, to achieve the latch on. We do not want baby latching on to the nipple only. Baby needs areola also in order to remove milk effectively from the breast. It is NOT necessary to get ALL of the areola into the baby's mouth, but you want to see more of the lower areola in the baby's mouth, a smooth rhythmic suckle, and swallowing.

Remember, latch on can feel "odd" but it is not supposed to feel bad. Pain is an indicator that the latch is not right. Unlatch baby with your pinkie finger, and try again. If you simply cannot get the baby to latch well, please call me for help.



Click here to watch the great latch on videos at Dr. newman presents these close-up breastfeeding videos as a helping hand to new moms learning the art of the latch on! Click on Video Clips, then watch the videos presented.

A Perfect Latch (Mother Using An SNS)
Using a Supplemental Nursing System, this baby feeds well at the breast!

Once the latch is achieved, the baby will begin drinking. Be sure to watch the video's linked on this page to witness what this looks like first hand. A baby that is latched well and drinking well, will not fall asleep immediately at the breast.
Things to look for in a well latched baby:
1. Flanged open "fish lips" (TOP AND BOTTOM LIPS)
2. Cheeks NOT sucking inward while baby is feeding.
3. A nice double chin on the baby.
4. No pain in the mama's nipple area.
5. No pinching of mama's nipple.
Please, if you are having trouble that you cannot resolve, please call me for help. We'll work it out together!

If you have not grown up watching mothers breastfeeding their babies, it may be difficult or challenging emotionally if things don't come "naturally" to you. The great thing about seeking support to nurse your baby is that you will never feel alone, left to figure things out on your own. Call me for help, I am here for you, ready to be there for you to support you in success!

Call Me Today For Help!