Many mothers wonder if they are latching their babies correctly and how to position their babies most effectively. Latch is how the baby attaches to the breast and it is important to get a a good latch so that the baby will be able to get milk effectively and prevent nipple soreness.
This is the first in a series of posts and videos describing how effective positioning promotes effective latching. In this video I describe the basics of latch and how to position a baby in the laid-back or biological nurturing position. The goal with any position is the get the nipple far back and to the roof of the baby's mouth. The baby's tongue must also be able to extend and cup the breast.
The laid-back position naturally demonstrates the most important aspects of an effective latch:
- The baby has full tummy contact with the mother's body.
- The baby feels stable.
- The baby's head is aligned with his spine, not turned or tilted to the right or left.
- The baby reaches up to take the breast.
- The baby is in a good drinking position with 2 finger-widths between the chin and chest.
This position can be enhanced by trying it skin-to-skin, with baby wearing nothing but a diaper and mother with no shirt or bra. If the room is cool, both mother and baby can be covered by a light blanket and this will keep the baby warm.
With all unfamiliar positions, I suggest trying the position several times, and trying it when the baby is in a good mood and showing early hunger cues. If the baby doesn't seem to like a position the first time, continue to offer it once or twice a day as an option. However, it is not necessary to be able to do all breastfeeding positions. If one position is working well and you prefer to just use that position, that is fine too.
Stay tuned for the next video in the series: The Cross Cradle Position.