Thursday, August 19, 2010

Breastfeeding Latch Trick

By Danelle Frisbie © 2010


Nipple Twist Latch Steps:

1) Pinch the areola right next to your nipple so the nipple can be moved (it may take a second for the nipple to evert if it was otherwise flat). You can use your thumb and first finger, or 2 fingers - whichever is easier for that side and the shape of your breasts. If you have 'puffy' breasts, you can also position the rest of your hand under your breast to lift it up slightly and away from your chest.

2) Turn the nipple up so it is pointing at your face. Do not be shocked if some milk exits. This is normal as you are putting very slight pressure on the milk ducts. There is no need to wipe off the milk as the scent will only help to encourage baby to nurse.

3) Position baby's mouth at the bottom of your upturned nipple, so baby's mouth is open over your nipple/finger and onto the above areola.

4) When you let go, the nipple will land deep into baby's mouth - where it is meant to be for comfortable latch and sucking.

Thank you to Bronwyn Millar for sharing her technique with DrMomma readers via video examples (below).

Helpful items for breastfeeding mothers (books, websites, articles) at the Breastfeeding Resources Page.







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37 comments:

  1. This was a great way to get my babe to take the full nipple (deep into his mouth) in order to practice our early nursing technique when he was having troubles post-c/s in the beginning. I also really appreciated your description of the finger/syringe in "if at first you don't succeed"

    http://www.drmomma.org/2009/10/breastfeeding-if-at-first-you-dont.html

    THANKS!

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  2. awesome! I'm due any day and can't wait to try this.

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  3. I have a question: is it to late to re-train my baby to latch better? She's 6 months now, and we do 'ok'...but it could be better.

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  4. Sara, I don't think it's ever too late, with perseverance!

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  5. cant believe didnt know this for the 1st 5

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  6. that is awesome!! that would have been a great thing to know when I was trying to nurse my first child.

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  7. this is so awesome! I remember with my first, it wasn't until I actually saw a technical diagram of the suckling mechanism that it finally 'clicked' how to latch my baby on. Lucky it was only day 3. We really need to share this info to make it easier for our bubbas to drink our elixir!

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  8. so totally adding that to my favs. great job, bronwyn!

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  9. What a complicated way to get a baby to latch! Why make breastfeeding complicated when it doesn't have to be? So much easier for mum just to lean back a little and let baby attach itself. By self-attaching the baby will naturally take the nipple deeply into the mouth. Go watch the video at www.biologicalnurturing.com in the "For Mothers" tab, and watch the photos on the home page. Oh and read the testimonials as well.

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  10. Totally agree with anonymous about self latching. Search YouTube for the breast crawl. It's amazing and brings tears to my eyes every time. I wrote an article that went into detail about how every single reflex a baby is born with is designed to help them latch on all by himself!

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  11. Anonymouses, not all babies latch perfectly or at all by themselves! You aren't doing any good to old and new breastfeeders alike by saying that. If people are having troubles they need support and resources like this, not to be told the baby will just do it on his/her own. That is really upsetting to me.

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  12. While the self attachment is a GREAT method.. It's good that people like Bronwyn share their experiences and tips. What works for one person doesn't always work for the next. Women who are just starting breastfeeding often need an arsenal of choices in case their baby doesn't take to one method.

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  13. Great idea...I personally never had a latch problem, but know tons of gals that did...My son received 3 hours of sucking practice on my hubby's baby finger, while I was in the O.R....When I got him he was a pro ;)...I will be sure to share this with other new moms...

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  14. Here's hoping this helps DS or DD number 2 latch right from the get go ... DD#1 and I used a nipple shield for the first 4-5 months; it kept us nursing (no formula in our family!), but would have been better had the lactation consultants at our hospital not been so ready to give me a nipple shield.

    It seems this technique addresses exactly our latching issue; we struggled to get the nipple deep enough to trigger her suckling response (and sandwiching the nipple to push it farther in her mouth didn't work for my breast type) BUT I had been able to nurse two or three times successfully (45-60min per latch) BEFORE I was given the nipple shield by the lactation consultants, so I know in my heart that it would have just taken practice and we could have gotten it ... the consultants, hubby, and mother-in-law just didn't have enough patience - they were all terrified she was starving. I knew she wasn't starving; I just wanted all those people to get out of our faces.

    I'll try this when I get home this morning; it might help with the change in DD#1's latch since her top teeth came in a few weeks ago...I'll post again after we try it:)

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  15. Tonya, we had a similar problem (the suckling response was not working) and rather than a nipple shield (which the LCs at our local hospitals did not advise) they worked with us on teaching our newborn to suck effectively. Here's our story: http://www.drmomma.org/2009/10/breastfeeding-if-at-first-you-dont.html

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  16. nice. i paid 160 bucks to have a lactation consultant teach me a trick. it was worth it at the time, but when my friend paid and got the same trick i felt foolish for not just showing it to her in the first place.

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  17. Woah that's fantastic! Thanks so much!

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  18. I've been using this technique all day and there is a big difference for us since my little one's latch had become shallow over the last couple weeks. Actually, the last couple weeks have been the first time nursing was painful for me; so I'm really quite pleased to have this technique to use now!!! Thank you, thank you :)

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  19. hey all, thanks for the love.. i happened to be one of the ones whose baby did NOT self attach. c section and groggy 1st day of a terrible latch left me with 7 weeks of scabs and ulcers. the 'nipple sandwich was also very hard for me so i adapted it and found this way really got my baby feeding on the whole nipple instead of the end. to those who critisize it - you have obviously never experienced nipple ulcers. this method has helped some of my friends, and i think it's a great method for women like me who have large nipples. but it also works for little nipples. and if someone's struggling with latch, why not give them a few tricks to try before they get pushed into bottle feeding like i nearly was.

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  20. UUGH! I loved finding this but MY BREAST WON'T COOPERATE! or maybe it's my fingers but it won't do it. :-(((( I'm looking for any help whatsoever. Any tricks for breastfeeding while laying down.

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  21. @Anon -- tuck the baby's body close to yours, and make sure his body is down low enough so that he'll still have to tip his head up and extend his head to take a mouthful of breast.

    -Kathy

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  22. I used to be afraid of suffocating the baby so I wouldn't lay down to nurse till my 1st was @ 6 months old.
    Now, by # 3 I am more confident in it. I lay the baby down first at breast level, lay down next to her, (propping my back with a pillow) and pull her face close to me. I put my nipple in her mouth and hold her face there till she starts to suckle. Then I always make sure to tilt her head back to make sure her nose is clear and can breathe freely.
    Good luck with this! It takes some practice, but don't be afraid to move the baby up or down to get the right position and hold her close.

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  23. I'm a La Leche League leader and although I am no longer breastfeeding anyone, I had to try it! I had a hard time grabbing very much tissue far enough back. I was able to g t only right behind the nipple to twist. I will have to suggest this to women to try, though.

    I have 4 children, only 1 of them took to breastfeeding easily. The other 3 had lots of problems. It was so stressful and scary when breastfeeding wasn't going well and baby was losing weight/not gaining. It's a welcome treat to learn a new trick that might make all the difference for a mama and baby. Thank you!

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  24. Wow.. me encantó la técnica, en cuanto despierte mi pequeña intentaré practicarla ya que hemos estado batallando un poco para que tome bien el pezón. Gracias por compartir!!

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  25. My baby's natural latch left me cracked, bleeding, and weeping in pain. Aside from demoralizing me, it reduced my already inadequate milk supply. It took four months of pumping, herbal supplements, yoga, and sessions with an RN/lactation consultant to get to the point where I had re-established my supply, and my baby never got a great latch, just an adequate one. There are a lot of nursing dyads out there and every pair does things a little differently. How wonderful that nature provides moms with the inventiveness and courage to keep working with their babies for the best latch.

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  26. hmmm...my nipples aren't anywhere near that size...i barely have any nipples at all.

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  27. lets hope this works for my 9 month old who has an upper lip tie because breast feeding is becoming unbearable in the last few weeks!

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  28. I am definitely going to try this as I'm having major difficulty getting my baby to latch and because of incorrect attachment I now have to feed with nipple shields as it is agony feeding without. My only problem is that my little girl's mouth is nowhere close to being the size you describe in the video so I'm hoping it will work. Thanks for the demonstration!

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  29. This is an excellent technique...I figured it out by myself with my premmie 12 years ago and it really helped him get a good latch at only 33 weeks.

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  30. This is an excellent technique...I figured it out by accident 12 years ago with my premmie and it really helped him get a good latch and nurse at only 33 weeks gestation. I didn't know it was already a technique, it needs to be taught more often. I used it again with my tongue tie babies too to help them latch well and it worked again. I think it's called the flipple isnt it?

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  31. Nice but the second video is blocked :(

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    Replies
    1. It continues to be flagged on YouTube as 'obscene' even though it is a breastfeeding help video. :(

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  32. I'll have to try this. My boy was 5 1/2 weeks early and spent 3 weeks in the NICU and was bottle fed. Now he's used to the bottle and breastfeeding is a fight everytime I try. Any other tips would be appreciated

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  33. That looks really cool. I just tried it, but I can't get the nipple to turn up without grabbing both sides with two hands. Maybe my breast tissue is too firm and inflexible? Trying different angles helps a bit.

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  34. Just wanted to let you know I used this with my 5.5 mo son who had to stop nursing for a little over a month. I desperately wanted to get back to nursing but he was SO used to the bottle and was having difficulty latching and wanted the quick feed that a bottle supplied. This really helped him get the nipple in deep enough so he could get a good suck which, led to a full belly. :) Thank you so much for the trick.

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  35. This worked for me with my one week old. After a very physically and emotionally difficult struggle to breastfeed without pain with my son five years ago, I was starting to feel that same panicky feeling with my daughter. Although it took a bit of coordination to get it, once we did, it helped right away, getting my not flat but not gum drop nipples far enough back in her mouth.

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  36. WOW! Wish I had found this MUCH sooner. We've been through 4 nipple shields and lots of pain. This is working!

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