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Latching Basics - Where to Start

  • No matter what position (cross-cradle, cradle, football hold, etc), always make sure your baby's spine is straight. Sometimes it's easy to not realize their hips are twisted, back is not in a straight line, or their head has slightly leaning to one side. Make sure they are always turned with their belly towards your belly/chest and they are not laying to feed straight on their back to feed.

  • Always support the head behind the ears with pointer and thumb, avoiding using palm on back of the head

  • When beginning a feed bring your baby in close, bring your infant to the point where your nipple naturally would land between the top lip and nose. It kind of feels like your putting your nipple "up their nose". This "nose to nipple" position will allow you to "fold" the nipple/breast/chest into the mouth and get a nice deep latch.

  • Here that technique is demonstrated in 2.5 minute video below by Janet Jones, IBCLC (not affiliated with QAHLS but a really terrific demonstration!)

Make sure you're "folding" the breast/chest into the mouth by bringing your baby to you, NOT you leaning down to put the breast/chest into the baby's mouth. Bringing baby to you is easier on your back PLUS you'll get a much deeper latch. And deeper latch = more comfortable and more milk intake so it's a win-win!

  • It's ok if your baby is a little fussy or starts to get their hands all in the way. If they're getting too "handsy", "reset" them by bringing them skin to skin against your chest, to help them rebalance and be more coordinated for their feeding.

Here is a video specifically showing a deep latch! A little less about positioning, a bit more about the mouth positioning and latch.

This video utilizes the "flipple" technique and is another super helpful method to obtain a deep latch!

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