I’ve never breastfed… beyond one brief moment when a nurse helped me get Eudora latched on at the hospital. That means that I, obviously, never had any idea of what it’s like to master that perfect latch. Meg, Huan’s mommy and Eudora’s future mother-in-law, is awesome and worked with Huan to get the perfect latch as part of successful breastfeeding.
What should a baby’s latch should look and feel like? They try to explain it in the birthing classes and such, but its very tough to get a proper idea of it until you get the hands on experience. Plus, there’s an overwhelming amount of advice. They say it shouldn’t hurt but having something sucking on you that often and that long will hurt to some extent at first. You will get an idea of what’s a normal amount of discomfort and what’s pain associated with an improper latch. If the whole tip of your nipple turns white after nursing, it was a shallow latch. For the first few weeks (or even months!) you may spend more time correcting your baby’s latch than actual nursing.
When you’re working on that perfect latch, there are some things to keep in mind. Don’t nurse through an improper latch. Your nipples will eventually crack and bleed and make nursing even worse until they heal. Drag your nipple from about their nose down in order to get your baby to open up nice and wide. Once they’re opened wide, pop it in there. Simple, right? I thought so watching the instructional videos. It may take practice though. With a proper latch, your baby’s lower lip will mostly, if not totally, cover up the bottom half of your nipple. Y ou’ll see part of the top nipple over there top lip. There are a lot of things to remember to start and keep up a healthy breastfeeding relationship. Seeing a lactation consultant or a member of the La Leche League can be invaluable. Never hesitate to ask for help. You’re not the first one, nor will you be the last to need a bit of extra coaching.
Did you have issues with getting a perfect latch? How did you work through it?