Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties

156 Doctors Online
Doctor Image
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

I will be looking into your question and guiding you through the process. Please write your question below.

Suggest techniques to ensure good latch and ease breastfeeding pain

Answered by
Dr. Rakhi Tayal


Practicing since :2001

Answered : 13579 Questions

Posted on Thu, 23 Aug 2018 in Pregnancy
Question: Hi. I am not able to latch properly while feeding my 8days old baby. I feel too much pain in my nipples both sides and i have got bruises as well on one side. I tried many positions for breastfeeding and my baby is able to sucks my nipples but i feel pain on tips when she sucks. I tried using nipple shield but no relief. Kindly suggest something that can help me feeding my baby well. I have started using nipcare ointment for bruises today.
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 4 hours later
Brief Answer:
Using proper position will help.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for posting your query.
The feeding for the first time can be painful and stressful. An 8 day old baby does not have so tight grip so as to cause a bruise. When hungry, it takes just 5-7 minutes for a baby to extract maximum milk from the breast. Try to feed from alternate breast every 2 hours and separate the baby after 5-10 minutes of sucking.
Proper positioning of the baby is necessary for proper latching. The following techniques used with proper positioning, can help ensure a good latch:

Get in a comfortable chair with great back support to feed your baby. Using a stool to rest your feet on will help with good posture and prevent you from straining your neck and shoulders.
Use your breastfeeding support pillow if you have one. (And if you don’t, use whatever kind of pillows you can find to help support you and the baby.) A good breastfeeding pillow can make a huge difference in getting the baby in a proper position to latch on well.
Make sure your baby is tummy-to-tummy with you at all times.
Make sure you bring your baby to you, and do not try to lean into the baby. Not only will this cause severe strain on your neck and shoulders, but it can affect the baby’s position.
Remember to keep your baby’s ear, shoulder, and hip in alignment, which will make swallowing easier.
The baby’s nose should be opposite the nipple.
You might need to hold your breast to help guide the nipple to your baby’s mouth. Grasp the breast on the sides, using either a “C” hold or “U” hold. Make sure to keep fingers far from the nipple so you don’t affect how baby latches on.
Aim the nipple toward the baby’s upper lip/nose, not the middle of the mouth.You might need to rub the nipple across the top lip to get your baby to open his/her mouth.
The baby’s head should be tilted slightly back. You do not want his chin to his chest.
When he opens his mouth wide with the chin dropped and tongue down, he should latch on to the nipple. If he does not open wide, do not try to shove the nipple in and wiggle the mouth open. It is best to move back, tickle the lip again with the nipple and wait for a wide open mouth.
Try to get as much of the lower portion of the areola (the area around the nipple) in the baby’s mouth.
The baby’s chin should indent the lower portion of your breast.
Look to see if the baby’s bottom and top lip are flanged out like fish lips. If they are not, you may use your finger to pull the bottom one down and open up the top one more.
I hope this answers your query.

Wishing you good health.

Take care,
Dr. Rakhi Tayal

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on