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Your question:

How do I know my baby is latched on (or attached) well?

Expert’s answer:

Latching on well is the key to successful breastfeeding. When your baby is latched on or attached well, they will find it easier to feed well and you will find it more comfortable. In the early days, some mums may feel discomfort at the beginning of a feed as they get used to the sensation. Feeding should not be painful.

Follow the 3 steps below to help latch well.  If pain or discomfort continues after your baby starts to feed, ask your midwife, local breastfeeding support volunteer, public health nurse or lactation consultant to watch you feed. 

Step 1

Latch - step 1

Think 'nipple-to-nose' it helps your baby get to the breast when your nipple is between their upper lip and nose. Tickle their nose with the tip of your nipple.

Step 2

Latch - step 2

When your baby's chin touches the breast first they will tilt their head back when opening their mouth wide so they can reach for the nipple. Their chin touches the breast first.

Step 3

Latch - step 3

Then they can snuggle up close and feed well. (If your baby's nose appears blocked, just move their bottom in closer to you).

Signs that your baby is latched on properly

  • Your baby has a big wide mouthful of breast in their mouth, with their chin touching your breast. You may notice their top and bottom lips curled out to resemble the letter K,
  • Their cheeks are full and rounded, you should not see the cheeks dimpling when baby sucks,
  • Their jaw is moving, you will also see their little ears twitch as they feed,
  • Your baby starts to feed with short quick sucks, then changes to long deep sucks with pauses to breath,
  • You should hear swallowing, not smacking or clicking sounds, and
  • You will feel comfortable during a feed and your nipples should not be sore or blanched after the feeds.
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