The beginning of a mother's breastfeeding experience isn't always easy. It can be awkward and much more difficult that expected, which often convinces mothers to wean their babies sooner than expected. Although there are certainly instances when weaning early is in the best interest for both the mother and baby, sometimes it can be prevented through learning proper nursing techniques early on in the game. High on the list is getting a proper latch, usually called a deep latch. There are lots of reasons you should try the deep latch technique as soon as your baby is born. In fact, your time breastfeeding may depend on it.
The American Pregnancy Association called latch the most important aspect of breastfeeding; crucial for its success and longevity. Although it sounds complicated, the deep latch technique is simply a way to ensure that your baby has enough of your breast in their mouth, thereby preventing a plethora of issues that arise without a proper latch.
To practice the deep latch technique, Pumping Station instructed mothers to hold their breast using a "C" shape and compress their breast to make it easier for baby to latch onto. Then, bringing your baby's head to your breast, tilt their head back so that their nose touches your nipple, causing them to open their mouth wide. Pull your baby in so that a large portion of your breast (not just the nipple) is in your baby's mouth.
Although the deep latch technique is simply "correct" positioning, many moms aren't aware of it's benefits. Ensuring you use a deep latch right from the get go can solve most of the common issues that arise in the early weeks of breastfeeding. But that's not the only reason to try to deep latch technique. Here are a few others reasons why this may be a game-changer.
1. Your Baby Will Get More Milk
What To Expect noted that if your baby doesn't get a deep latch, they won't get as much milk as they could if they had more than just the nipple in their mouth. It may be harder to get the hang of, but your baby's health can depend on it.
2. You Won't Get Sore Nipples
Anyone who has ever struggled with nipple pain will tell you that breastfeeding with sore, dry, cracked, or blistered nipples is virtually impossible. Having a correctly deep latch will prevent sore nipples from ever happening in the first place, according to Belly Belly.
3. It Can Increase Your Supply
Belly Belly noted that having a proper latch will help with any supply issues you may face. The supply and demand of your milk supply will be positively impacted by your baby removing more milk from your breasts with a deep latch.
4. It Can Prevent Engorgement
In addition to helping with supply issues, a deep latch can eliminate engorgement since your baby will be removing enough milk from your breasts and your supply will be more fully established.
5. Your Baby Is Less Likely To Get Bacterial Infection And Thrush
According to La Leche League International (LLLI,) thrush is a bacterial infection caused by yeast. It thrives on milk on the nipples, so if you have cracked or bleeding nipples, the bacteria is more likely to grow. Both mothers and babies can suffer from thrush, but it can be avoided with proper latch and hygiene.
6. Your Baby Will Gain Weight More Steadily
According to the Office On Women's Health, with proper latch, comes better weight gain, since your baby will be getting more milk with each feeding. If you're struggling to get a good latch, be sure to contact your local lactation consultant.