Signs of a deep latch and a good feeding

Regardless of the position you choose to hold your baby, a good, deep latch-on is the key factor in a good feeding.

Signs of a deep latch:

  • The baby has a deep latch with an angle of 140* in which the lips meet the breast
  • Baby’s upper and lower lips are flanged (rolled-out)
  • All or most of Mom’s Areola is in the baby’s mouth(at least 1″ from the base of Mom’s nipple)
  • Asymmetrical latch on is recommended- More on the bottom of the Areola, than the top
  • There may be some initial latch-on pain that lessens after a few minutes, and then the feeding should be comfortable thereafter
  • There  is rhythmic movement in baby’s temples with sucking while the jaws move up and down; sometimes baby’s ears  even appear to wiggle
  • There is gentle movement of Mom’s breast near the baby’s lips

 Signs of a good feeding:

  • Hearing baby’s  swallowing once Mom’s milk comes in
  • Seeing Mom’s milk in the baby’s mouth
  • Consistent sucking with only brief pauses
  • The breasts are softer and lighter after feedings
  • Baby’s age appropriate output: 1 wet diaper-day 1; 2 wet diapers-day 2; 3 wet diapers-day 3; 6 wet diapers- day 4; and several stools/day
  • Deep, vigorous sucking with no sharp pain
  • Leaking from Mom’s breast with a feeling of a let-down reflex
  • Baby feeds 8-12 times in 24 hours
  • Baby easily latches to breast with minimal attempts, and remains latched-on
  • There is minimal weight-loss during baby’s first few days (<10% of birth weight), and return to birth weight by 14 days of age
  • Baby’s chin is pressed into Mom’s breast, and there is good eye contact between Mom and Baby
  • After the feeding, Mom’s nipple should remain round and not be lipstick-shaped, flattened, creased, or pinched
  • Mom’s nipple should be intact with no skin damage
  • When baby starts sucking, his/her hands make tight fists or fingers appear to be stretched (while baby is concentrating or sucking, as baby proceeds  with feeding, baby’s hands will relax)
  • Baby is relaxed and content following feeding
  • A satisfied, well-fed baby will appear calm and relaxed- even appear “Milk Drunk”- after the feeding, baby will easily fall asleep or remain quiet and alert
  • Although most babies lose weight after birth, a continuous steady weight  gain is a positive sign that baby is eating enough
  • Mom should offer both breasts at a feed to maintain her adequate milk supply
  • Mom will continue to take baby to well-baby visits with Pediatrician where weight checks will be done to track weight gain or loss. Baby should be back to birth weight in 2-3 weeks
  • Mom should feel confident and content feeding baby
  • Follow-up with Lactation Consultant/Pediatrician

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