Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Boob Sandwich ~ getting that perfect latch....

There is so much focus on the baby's position when coming in to the breast, her nose position, her open mouth, tongue down etc etc. We often forget about some of the other basics.

Nearly all nipple pain is a result of a shallow latch and one of the most common reasons for the shallow latch is so so easy to fix.

This is the most common and most simple correction i make when i assist mums and babies with latching.

The mother's hand position....

Not this - Fingers are too close to nipple. Baby will not be able to latch deeply. 
1- step 1 - take handful of breast deep into the breast with your free hand.
2 - step 2 - press thumb into breast, this leads to the tilting of the breast in photo 3. The boob sandwich.
3 - the tilt of the breast in this photo is a little exaggerated but the aim is to present a large amount of breast tissue. The tilt ensures an asymmetric latch. In this position the baby's nose is towards the thumb and chin towards the fingers.

... and again but this time the hand position is for football or underarm hold.
Not this - fingers too close. This is where baby's mouth needs to be.
1 - Deep handful of breast tissue. Nose towards thumb, chin towards fingers.
2 - Thumb into breast to tilt and present breast tissue to baby. Make a boob sandwich.
3 - Move those fingers right away. This is where the chin and bottom lips need to come in.

football hold - mums view

It's simple, how can baby get enough breast tissue in his or her mouth when mums fingers are where the mouth needs to be?

Move your fingers right back, and with a few other tweaks watch baby get that deep latch every time and say goodbye to sore nipples and a fussy baby because now she can get more milk!

Why baby needs a deep latch....
Pain and comfort levels aside, if the baby is not latched deeply into the breast she has to rely very much on the vacuum component of her suck to remove the milk. If she is positioned deeply then the milk is more easily removed. 

See here the deep latch, see how being latched well is important for transferring the milk from mum to baby.

This latch is too shallow. You can even see milk in the corner of his mouth, evidence of a poor latch. If the breast is to full and firm to "sandwich" well, hand expressing to soften around the areola is very helpful.
The "Boob Sandwich" can be a helpful when older babies are teething and doing a lot of busy on/off feeding, always ensuring a nice big mouthful of breast and protecting the nipples.

I hope this has helped, especially if you're in the early days where its so normal to be all fingers and thumbs and it just feels awkward. Keep at it, before you know it you'll be breastfeeding with your eyes closed, quite literally hopefully!

look at this gorgeous latch....

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