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4 Steps to Achieve Good Breastfeeding Latch Position

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

Breastfeeding is natural. Struggling is normal. 😌

Woman with curly black hair in black underwear and bra stands holding hher breastfeeding infant

The first thing I tell my clients if they’re struggling with breastfeeding is that their struggle a feelings are valid and that my job is to support their journey NOT to force them to do or continue anything they don’t want to.

Then we can work on finding solutions. 🤓

It surprises many new parents to find out that a lot of the most common breastfeeding struggles like pain, baby slipping off the breast, baby gagging and choking on milk, and “nipple feeding” are signs of a poor latch and can be resolved with simple position adjustments.💁🏾‍♀️

We can troubleshoot the latch in 4 steps.

a woman sitting with her legs crossed holding her breastfeeding infant against her front
Start with the basics

✅ Check the baby’s body position. The head tilt/chin lift is important for the baby to be able to achieve a deep latch!

✅ Try different feeding positions. Depending on your body and comfort level, some positions will feel more comfortable and help you relax more which will make feeding easier!

✅ Look, listen, feel for changes. Have symptoms resolved? Is the baby more satisfied after feeds? Do you feel calmer/less anxious?

✅ Know when to reach out for support from an IBCLC. If the signs and symptoms don’t resolve with good latch position an IBCLC should be consulted. Their expertise in checking for proper latch angles, tongue/lip ties, and muscle tension that may be interfering with the jaw, tongue and lips is invaluable.

Some of these steps we go over more than once keeping in mind that some issues may need expert and/or medical support to resolve. I encourage my clients that they can make the choice to keep trying or to call in reinforcements as they feel ready.👌🏾

If you’re struggling physically and/or emotionally with breastfeeding it’s important to remember that your feelings and experience matter. Regardless of the outcome, you deserve to feel supported at every stage. 🥰

Beautiful artwork for these graphics was done by @student.midwife.ashton 😍 Check out her shop on Etsy, Bumble and Babe for more lovely visuals!

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