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Latch Issues

Latch issues are one of the most common problems in early breastfeeding.  However, without solving the problem, a mother can be left with sore, cracked and/or bleeding nipples and the baby may be left with a less than satisfactory feeding which can lead to decreased growth.


A couple of tips:


   - Is your baby secure against your body?  Is the baby stomach to stomach in the cross cradle position or is her stomach facing the ceiling?


   - Is your baby coming to your breast chin first?  Your nipple should be pointed toward the roof of his mouth so that he can get a full mouthful of breast tissue and not just nipple.


   - How are you holding your baby's head?  Think about how you drink.  Your baby needs their head to be tilted back a bit to be able to drink, just like you do.  Place your chin on your chest and try to drink.  It's very hard to do!


   - Ask your partner to look at your nipple after you take the baby off your breast if you're not sure.  If your nipple is coming off looking like a tube of lipstick, your baby needs a deeper latch.  A nipple should look normal when your baby comes off the breast.  Round, not creased.


In conclusion, if your family and well-meaning friends tell you that just need to toughen up the nipples and pain is normal, they would be incorrect.  In many cases, a deeper latch or better positioning can be the difference between pain  and/or a hungry baby and an enjoyable experience breastfeeding your baby.

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