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How to latch a baby to the breast

So, this is probably the number one reason people ask me for a consult... My baby is not latching right! It's painful, or not effective or he just won't latch. Here's the process I go through with all my new moms.

Here are my tips for latching:

1) be skin to skin with baby. Undress him down to the diaper and have your skin touching him.

2) Turn his body so that his neck, back and legs are in one line. You don't want him lying on his back and turning his head to the side to feed.

3) Nipple to nose. You actually want his nose lined up with your nipple so that he has to tip his head back and then open his lower jaw to latch. This allows your nipple to slide along the roof of his mouth, in the proper position.

4) Support him under the side of his head by his ear, or under his neck. Do not touch the back of his head because it can cause a newborn to reflexively arch back, away from the nipple.

5) Wait till he opens a little then gently push down on his chin with your finger or your breast itself (while holding your breast with finger and thumb) to get him to open really wide (see flipple video above).


6) Then let him arch forwards and latch on.

7) Check that his upper lip and lower lip are flanged out like a fish mouth. If not, gently flip them with your finger.


8) Look at the angle of the corner of his lips. Should be at least 90 degrees (corner of a square) but ideally closer to 120 degrees. If not then try to lever more breast tissue into the lower jaw. If he doesn't get deep enough then take him off and try again.



Here are my favorite latching videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deKN3wJ17Mk This one is cool because it shows how the nipple is positioned in baby's mouth.

Flipple technique for deep latch:


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