Breast milk is second to none for providing optimal health and nutrition to your baby, and establishing a proper latch of your infant to the breast is fundamental to breastfeeding success. The American Pregnancy Association has provided an excellent resource guide for things to try to improve the latch through proper positioning. Consider the following criteria as outlined by The American Pregnancy Association to improve breastfeeding latch:
Find a comfortable chair that delivers back support and use a stool to rest your feet to minimize strain to your back and shoulders. Utilize a breastfeeding support pillow like Boppy Pillows to provide added support for establishing a good latch. Make sure your baby is tummy to tummy with you at all times. Avoid leaning into the baby and instead bring the baby to you to prevent unnecessary strain. Keep your baby’s ear, shoulder, and hip in alignment to make swallowing easier on your infant. Your baby’s nose should be opposite the nipple. You may need to hold your breast to help guide the nipple into your baby’s mouth. Grasp the breast on the sides using either a “C” or “U” hold. Keep your fingers away from the nipple so you don’t disrupt the latching process. Aim the nipple toward the baby’s lip and nose, not the middle of the mouth. You may need to rub the nipple across your baby’s upper lip to signal his or her mouth to open. Make sure your baby’s head is tilted back slightly as you do not want the baby’s chin to the chest. When your baby’s mouth is open wide with the chin dropped and tongue down, the latch should occur. Avoid forcing the nipple into your baby’s mouth. If the mouth is not open wide, then move back and tickle the lip again with your nipple and wait for your baby’s mouth to open properly. Once baby’s mouth is open wide, try to get as much of the areola (the colored area around the nipple) in the baby’s mouth. Baby’s chin should indent the lower portion of your breast, indicating a good latch. Check to see if the baby’s bottom and top lips are flanged out like a fish once latched. If not, use your finger to adjust your baby’s mouth around the breast properly.
If you have additional questions about improving latch, then you should seek counsel from your healthcare professional or lactation consultant. Your healthcare professional may recommend the support of a double electric breast pump. Most insurance policies provide coverage for a double electric breast pump when obtained through a Durable Medical Equipment (DME) provider such as Aeroflow Healthcare Breast Pumps. Having the support of a double electric breast pump is vital for overall commitment to full term breastfeeding independent of latching issues. See if you qualify through insurance for a breast pump by submitting your details via the online portal. A Breast Pump Specialist at Aeroflow Healthcare Breast Pumps will evaluate your insurance policy guidelines and contact you in a few business days to discuss your options. No other DME provider has a larger selection of products. Aeroflow has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau; so you can trust you are in good hands with Aeroflow Healthcare Breast Pumps!