Mom Breastfeeding Newborn Baby

Shallow Latch Breastfeeding Correction: 5 Tips To Help New Moms

For success with breastfeeding, it’s important to get a proper latch. In fact, it’s the most common reason for problems. When a baby is latched properly, they can effectively get the milk they need while stimulating the letdown to drain each breast. It should be completely painless for the mom. If ever a mother feels pain during breastfeeding, it indicates the latch is shallow.

According to Kidslymom, premature babies tend to have a weak or shallow latch. However, even full-term babies may have a shallow latch. A shallow latch should be corrected quickly for the best possible start to life.

Shallow Latch Breastfeeding Correction: 5 Tips To Help New Mom

Signs a Latch is Shallow

Since new moms have never breastfed before, it can be hard for them to know what signals a problem during breastfeeding. The common signs are:

  • The baby is only latching onto the nipple rather than having most of the areola in their mouth along with it.
  • The baby’s cheeks are sucking inward while nursing.
  • There are no signs of the baby swallowing any milk – either by sight or sound.
  • The baby makes smacking sounds while trying to get to that milk.
  • Baby’s lips are curled inward instead of looking more like fish lips – outward and against the breast.
  • Mom is in pain with pinched nipples and cracks on the nipples.
  • The baby isn’t gaining weight and/or doesn’t have enough wet/soiled diapers.

Tips for Correcting a Shallow Latch

For any mom having trouble getting their baby to latch on properly for breastfeeding, these 5 tips will help correct that shallow latch. Once it is corrected, breastfeeding will go smoothly.

  1. Don’t Let Babies Exhibit Late Hunger Cues

Crying is a late sign of hunger. Ideally, moms will learn to spot those early signs of hunger first, such as lip-smacking, rooting, or putting the hand to the mouth. Newborns will wake up hungry, so new moms should watch for these things.

It can be harder to get a good latch when a baby gets to the crying stage of hunger. That’s because they’re already upset. Calming them with skin-to-skin contact and soothing tones can halt the crying and allow them to naturally root and successfully latch on more deeply.

  1. Choose the Right Position

There are many different nursing positions that moms can try. A laid-back position where moms recline while baby is face down on mom’s belly may work for some though the cross-cradle hold maybe another one to work with.

With the cross-cradle hold, the mom should hold her right breast while her left hand is on her baby’s neck and shoulders to feed from the right breast. The cradle hold also works well and involves supporting the baby with the arm that’s on the same side of the breast that will be used. However, any position that is deemed comfortable for both the baby and the mom will make it easier to get a deeper latch.

  1. Sandwiching the Breast

Moms can also squeeze their breasts with a U-shaped hold to push the areola forward. When the baby opens up wide, moms can bring the baby to the breast, giving better control. By squeezing the breast, it fits better in the same way an adult would compress a large sandwich to take a bite.

Newborn Baby Mom

  1. Make Sure Baby’s Lips are Outward

It is often compared to a fish. When a baby latches deeply, the mouth opens wide, and the lips are far apart and turned outwardly. The nipple and the majority of the areola need to go into the baby’s mouth.

When the latch is too shallow, the baby’s lips will be inward and nearly come together. Smacking and clicking noises will also reveal that the latch is too shallow to get a good feeding.

  1. Aim Upward

The final tip for ensuring a suitably deep latch rather than a shallow one is to point the nipple in the right direction. That’s toward the roof of the baby’s mouth, so it arrives where the hard and soft palate meet. By positioning the nipple into this part of the mouth, the milk is better able to flow without incident.

With a shallow latch, moms are encouraged to gently pop the baby off the breast, reposition, and try again. Doing this, it will often result in a deep latch and smooth breastfeeding.

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  1. Breast milk is liquid gold with a good latch your baby will be full healthy and happy

  2. I am literally having this issue right now. Baby is 3 days old and I’m struggling to get a proper latch. She doesn’t open wide enough. I’m also struggling because it’s difficult for me to position myself due to the C section pain.
    But will keep trying.

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