Latching On

Learning to help your baby to latch on well is one of the most important things you can do to get off to a great start with breastfeeding. You will soon learn to recognize signs that your baby is latched correctly on to your breast.

Beginning Step

Using the C-hold with your thumb on top of your breast and four fingers gently supporting your breast, gently brush your baby's lips with your nipple. When she opens her mouth widely, bring her towards you. Be patient as you may need to try this several times. (See Figure 1) As your baby latches on, she should have the nipple and much of the surrounding areola in her mouth.

If your baby is well positioned, you will see her mouth remaining wide open and her lips flanged. Her tongue will be covering her lower gums, with her chin pressed to your breast and her nose resting on top. Her cheeks will be rounded.

Figure 1 - Baby latching on
Figure 2 - Baby breastfeeding


Your baby will begin to swallow quickly at first, and then begin a rhythmic sucking and swallowing, with occasional pauses and continued suckling. Listen to hear your baby swallowing. If you experience discomfort beyond the time your baby latches on and begins to suck, break the suction by slipping you finger into the corner of your baby's mouth and begin again.

Remember that breastfeeding should be comfortable. Remember to offer both breasts at each feeding. You may want to burp your baby during or after the feeding. Some babies may not burp at all. Your baby may fall asleep at your breast at the end of the feeding.

Congratulations! By choosing breastfeeding you are giving your baby a great start!

Correct Latch Video

Watch this video to understand the correct latch.