First Latch

This is an excellent breastfeeding video, by the wonderful Dr Jack Newman. showing a classic cross-cradle hold, and a baby latching well. Notice how gentle and respectful of the baby Dr Newman, and the mother, are. Only two interventions happen – one to pull the baby’s hand gently out of the camera view – so you can see what’s happening, and one very gentle encouraging finger to the chin after latch has happened.

This baby is small and quite young. Notice how easily the mother is supporting the baby’s shoulders and neck, and managing to keep the length of the baby’s body snug and secure across her body. This can be an excellent hold for new mothers, but all that’s important is that you and baby are comfortable, and the breastfeeding is working well. As baby gets older, and heavier, Mum and Baby will find different holds that keep them both feeling supported and happy.

The important part of this video is what’s happening at the mouth/nipple exchange. You hear Dr Newman say to wait for the ‘gape’ and then you let baby attach. The point is that quite a lot of breast needs to go into the mouth, for milk to transfer.

Baby having too shallow a latch is a classic way to have sore nipples. If it’s painful – something is wrong!

Incidentally that jaw action you see is one reason breastfeeding contributes so much to the overall development of the baby – that jaw action is working on moving the plates in the baby’s head back into place from the birth canal squish, and is building excellent muscle tone in the jaw and face, helping build up to good chewing and speaking skills.

 

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