Attachment to the breast
When your baby is positioned and attached to your breast correctly this is the key to the successful breastfeeding. This is sometimes called a correct latch Your public health nurse or midwife will support and assist you to recognise correct attachment of your baby to your breast. Visit www.breastfeeding.ie to view videos of correct positioning and attachment.
When your baby is correctly attached to your breast you will notice that:
Your baby’s mouth is wide open and he has a big wide mouthful of breast in his mouth
His chin is touching your breast, leaving his nose free to breath
His bottom lip is curled back (you may not be able to see this)
His cheeks stay full and rounded during sucking
If you can see any of the areola (the brown skin around the nipple), more is visible above baby’s top lip than below his bottom lip
Baby starts to feed with short quick sucks, then changes to long deep sucks with pauses to breathe
Your breastfeeding is going well when:
Feeds are comfortable for you with no pain or nipple damage. Your baby feeds 10-12 times or more in 24 hours (during the early weeks) then 8-12 times or more as baby gets a little older. Baby feeds actively for between 10-14 minutes (approx) Baby has a minimum of 5-6 wet nappies and 2 soiled nappies per day after the first week. Baby is satisfied and content after many feeds.
If your baby isn’t correctly positioned and attached to your breast take your baby off and start again. Your public health nurse or midwife will show you how to do this. One way of doing this is to insert a clean finger into the side of your baby’s mouth to break the suction. Once the suction is broken, gently move your breast away. Then try again. Remember a correct attachment to the breast is the secret to successful breastfeeding.