Checklist for Correct Latch Positioning


Many first-time mothers who are attempting to breastfeed their babies often wonder whether they have got the correct latch-on positioning, especially after they have been experiencing sore nipples for a sustained period of time since delivery. Below are some signs that can help you tell when you have got it right, and when you have not. Of course, please seek professional help from a lactation consultant if you are still not sure or if sore nipples continue to persist after a few weeks.

You should see:
A relaxed, happy baby suckling contentedly away
Baby tucked in close to you, chest to chest
Baby’s chin to your breast, head back and chin forward
A wide-open mouth, with bottom lip turned out, not sucked in (to achieve this, wait for baby’s mouth to open really wide before bringing baby to breast, not breast to baby)
More breast in baby’s mouth below nipple than above
Face and jaw muscles jiggling, not just the cheeks
May also see ears ‘wiggling’ (I see this in my son each time I nurse him)

You should not see:
Pinched, ‘prissy’ lips
Baby’s cheeks being sucked in

You should hear:
Sounds of milk being swallowed – a change from quick, small sucks to deep, slower, satisfied gulps as the milk is ‘let down’ or released from the breast (at the same time, you should also be able to see some throat movements resembling swallowing)

You should not hear:
Clicking sounds (in the initial days of my breastfeeding journey, every time I heard this I knew I had to unlatch my baby and relatch him again)
Lip smacking

You may feel:
Your let-down reflex feeling working – a tingling, warm feeling
Feelings of pleasure and enjoyment (in extreme cases for some mothers, this may even feel like orgasm!)

You should not feel:
Pain which continues throughout the nursing session beyond the first minute or so