This is a Guest Post written by Ahmed Fawzi, of www.breastfeedo.com
www.breastfeedo.com is a site launched with three main goals:
- Providing only evidence-based advice
- Helping new moms by introducing that breastfeeding advice visually
- Keep high level of good user experience & user interface
Here is my interview with Ahmed Fawzi, followed by the insightful and helpful Guest Post;
How to Attain a Proper Latch During Nursing
The proper/deep latching is achieved via the wide mouth opening of your breastfed baby to get the most of your areola. His mouth is forming a 120° angle “like yawning.”
While the bad/shallow latching is when you think he is widely opening his mouth but he doesn’t ” 90° or less.”
Image source: How to get deep and wide baby latch
The good sign
You can see his upper lip is flanged outside. In other words, you can see the pinky part of the top lip ” as the fish mouth shape.”
His lips are folded inward which indicates that your breastfed baby is latched poorly.
Image source: Visual signs of good latching
No milk leakage during the breastfeeding session. Even if you have milk oversupply
Leakage of the milk from your baby’s mouth is an indicator of the weak sealing between your breast and his mouth. Also, it indicates that he may swallow air within the milk which causes flatulence and colic.
The good sign
Most of the areola is inside your baby’s mouth during his latching. Only, you can see a small part of the areola “the upper one” during the breastfeeding session.
The bad sign
Your baby is catching the nipple only. Or you can see much of your areola out of his mouth during lactation session.
How to ensure that your baby is having the most of your areola?
By applying the asymmetric latch not the symmetrical one.
Your breastfed baby’s tongue is protruding from his mouth acting as a soft pillow between your breast and his lower gum. You can check his tongue position by uncovering his lower lip using your small fiber.
Your breast is exposed directly to his lower hard gum which causes the nipple soreness later
His ears are shaking”wiggling” during the excellent latching which is a proof of efficient sucking and swallowing due to the face muscle movement. This movement is characteristic for all humans not only for babies.
If you don’t notice that little movement, it may be due to sucking without swallowing
You can hear the swallowing sounds during breastfeeding session which is a sign of good milk extraction from your breast.
In case of the bad, shallow baby latch, you may hear a noisy sound during his sucking and may not hear a swallowing sound.
Nipple shape after breastfeeding
The right/deep latching is when your nipple shape after breastfeeding is fully rounded without any change in its original color.
The shallow/poor latching is when your nipple:
- looks like the shape of the new lipstick “slanted/squashed.”
- Its color is either white or red-blue
Image source: Nipple shape after breastfeeding
Some breastfeeding techniques that would help you while baby latching
Naturally, and immediately after birth, your baby is able to latch himself on your breast with minimum assistance from you.
Just apply for the laid back position as shown, and your baby would search for your nipple and gets his milk. There are two reasons for that:
- The stepping reflex is a fantastic natural reaction when his foot touches a solid surface. Once he does, he pushes himself against that surface.
- Your nipple and areola are dark in color to help your baby to recognize where his meal is.
Image source: Laid back breastfeeding position
The hamburger hold
In the first weeks after birth, your tiny baby finds your breast as a vast and thick sandwich, especially if you have large breasts.
One of the most effective ways to support him in such situation is to catch your breast with your free hand like the way you pick a big sandwich before eating.
In other words, squeeze/shrink the surface area of your breast that encounters your baby to become easier for him to latch with good milk extraction.
There are three ways you can apply to achieve that hold:
- U hold
- C hold
- V hold or cigarette hold
Image source: how to sandwich hold during breastfeeding