How to Obtain a Perfect Latch
Place pillows or folded blankets under the baby. The baby’s hips need to be almost as high as the baby’s head. This will keep the baby’s jaw relaxed to nurse without pinching your nipple. As your baby gets older, you may not need this support, but it is very helpful at first.
Hold your baby close to you. The baby’s ear, shoulder and hip should be in a straight line. Do not push the baby’s head forward. Pushing the head makes it hard for the baby to swallow and he or she may pull back from the breast.
Hold your breast in one hand with your fingers placed to form a “C”. Place the hand further on the breast closer to the chest wall, so your hand does not get in the way of baby latching. The baby needs to get the nipple far back in the mouth to nurse so milk will flow easily. Line up the baby’s lips with your nipple. Tickle the lips with your nipple, once the baby opens wide, pull the infant quickly onto the breast. Once the baby starts sucking, you will feel strong tugs on your breast. This should not hurt. If this is painful, break the suction by placing your finger between the infant’s cheek and tongue and re-latch the infant to the breast.
In the very initial stages of feeding, especially the first 24 hours, we would like to have the infants feed at least every two to three hours.
· Gentle arousal methods may be used to wake the infant including changing the diaper or gentle massaging of the infant. You may also try holding the infant upright and turning him or her with gentle rocking from left to right.
· After the first 24-48 hours infants will settle into a 2 ½ - 3- hour feeding pattern. Please feed your baby on demand. After the first couple of weeks, a pattern will develop.
· Breastfed babies will need between 10 and 12 feedings in a 24-hour period initially, and at least 8 feedings a day minimum after 4 days of age.