Breastfeeding is a beautiful act of motherhood, but it can also be difficult at first. Some newborns struggle to latch on to the breast, leading to frustration for both mom and baby. If this problem isn’t corrected, it may lead to weight loss, stress, and quitting breastfeeding completely. Your breastfeeding journey is personal and important, and we want to support you along the way.
Learn About Latching
If you examine a diagram of a healthy latch, you’ll see your baby with a wide open mouth, and the majority of your areola in their mouth. Many mothers experience cracked or sore nipples because their baby is not latched properly. It’s worth the time to learn correct latching as it will allow you to breastfeed successfully.
If you have concerns, contact your pediatrician immediately, they can help you solve small problems before they grow.
Problems That Prevent Latching
Thankfully, once you have a solid understanding of healthy latching, you can solve problems and understand new ones, should they arise.
Latching Problems for Newborns
One of the biggest hurdles for new moms is achieving a healthy latch and feeling confident that their newborn is getting enough breastmilk. A baby needs to learn to latch quickly in order to gain weight and signal your breasts to produce more milk.
In order to achieve a healthy latch, start by nursing your newborn in a diaper only, as this skin to skin supports successful breastfeeding. Second, line up your baby’s nose with your nipple and bring them to breast, your baby’s mouth should open wide, allowing them to take as much of the areola (dark circle of your nipple) into their mouth as possible.
When latched properly, your baby’s chin should be touching your breast, and you should notice their lower jaw moving as they swallow breast milk.
Latching Problems in Older Babies
If your experienced nurser suddenly goes on a breastfeeding strike, the problem is not that they’re done nursing, you need to look for other causes. Often when a baby is in pain from an ear infection or mouth pain, they don’t want to nurse.
Other issues include stress, distraction, or a reduction in your milk supply. Before you give up in the midst of a breastfeeding strike, see if you can identify and correct the root cause of why your baby has stopped latching.
Products Designed to Support Nursing Mothers
Thankfully you’re not alone on your nursing journey. There are resources and brands dedicated to supporting breastfeeding mothers. Here are a few products we recommend:
Lactation Support Herbal Tea from Gaia Herbs
A warm and soothing way to support healthy breastfeeding, Lactation Support Herbal Tea from Gaia Herbs includes organic fenugreek, fennel, and red raspberry. This blend of herbs supports the healthy flow, production, and nutrition of breast milk.
MotherLove Nipple Cream
Even with a healthy latch, the first few weeks of breastfeeding put a lot of stress on the nipple, especially for first-time moms. Nipple Cream from MotherLove is an organic way to soothe sore nipples, and doesn’t need to be wiped off before nursing.
Lactation Support Capsules from Gaia Herbs
Lactation Support from Gaia Herbs is an herbal supplement designed to promote healthy lactation and optimal nutrient composition of breast milk. Each capsule contains organic herbs, such as fenugreek, fennel, and blessed thistle.
What latching tips have you learned along the way? Share them with us in the comments section below.