Latching On - The First Step In Breastfeeding
Successful breastfeeding depends on a baby latching on properly. It's
important that you get an inch of the areola tissue surrounding the nipple
or at least a good amount of it into the baby's mouth.
Here's how to do it. First, tickle your baby's mouth with your
nipple. When baby opens wide, quickly pull him toward your breast and
position him on your nipple. You may have to push the areola area into
his mouth when open wide.
The compression of the milk sinuses beneath the areola causes the milk
to be drawn out through the nipple. Baby's sucking action will cause
let down, and his/her tongue resting on top of the lower gum will draw
the milk out.
Protect Your Nipples
If your baby latches on to only your nipple, he/she will not get much milk
and you will be very sore. If you're not sure if your baby is sucking
on enough of the areola area, ask a nurse before you go home or consult
with our lactation center.
Steps to Remember
Remember these basic steps to breastfeeding.
1. Make sure you are tummy to tummy with baby. Cup your breast from underneath
in a "C-shape" with your hand and gently lift the breast. Make
sure your fingers are well away from the areola area.
2. Gently move your nipple back and forth over baby's lower lip. This
will elicit the rooting response and entice your baby to open his or her mouth.
3. When the baby opens wide, quickly pull him/her toward your breast and
put him/her on your nipple. Do not let baby latch on to only your nipple
because that will cause soreness and cracking and baby will not get enough milk.