You often hear lactation professionals emphasizing the importance of a good deep latch. So why is the latch important when breastfeeding/chestfeeding?
A deep latch can lead to healthy weight gain for your baby, pain-free nursing for the parent, and an adequate milk supply. Milk production responds to demand so the more milk removed effectively, the more milk your body makes.
Whereas a shallow latch can lead to sore or injured nipples, slow/limited weight gain for your baby, low breast milk supply, inefficient milk transfer, and increased risk of issues like clogged/narrowed ducts.
How do you know if the latch is good? Some signs include: Baby’s chin touching your breast with an asymmetric latch so more of your bottom areola is in your baby’s mouth than the top, your nipple by the junction of the baby’s soft & hard palate, baby’s lips are turned out & their tongue comes out over their lower gums to cup under your breast and their belly is facing your belly.
During nursing, listen for swallowing sounds and look at jaw movements. Then afterward confirm your nipple’s overall shape is the same and undamaged. If your nipple looks swished, injured, or one side indented like a tube of lipstick, the latch might need adjusting.
Need help reaching your infant feeding goals or experiencing breastfeeding issues or pain? I’m here to help. Kavisa@nourishingjustly.com, NourishingJustly.com