4 Helpful Tips for Simplifying Latching

July 20, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — chicagotonguetie @ 2:16 pm
a frustrated nursing mom and crying baby

When you envisioned having a baby, you probably assumed that breastfeeding would come easily and be an incredible experience. The reality is that many babies and mothers struggle with this “natural” process. Babies can fail to latch, nursing mothers can have sore or cracked nipples, and everyone can come away from it feeling frustrated.

But don’t give up! Before you decide to feed your baby through a bottle permanently, try these tips to help your baby with latching.

Create a Calm Atmosphere for You and Your Baby

For a baby who is brand-new to the world, overstimulation should be a real concern. Even if your infant is hungry and ready to eat, they could be distracted by sounds, light, or other overwhelming stimulations around them. You may find yourself feeling stressed out because of your surroundings as well!

In the nursery, on your bed, on the couch, or another relaxing area of your house, establish a space where there are few distractions and where the two of you can focus on breastfeeding. Try to have everything you need close by, such as the nursing pillow, burp cloth, and blanket, so you won’t have to interrupt your progress and get up to retrieve these necessities. Make the environment as warm, comfortable, and stress-free as possible.

Wear a Nipple Guard

Not everyone has a beautiful experience with nursing in the early days. In fact, many nursing mothers have sore or cracked nipples because of latching issues, and the breastfeeding process can be extremely painful and difficult. Fortunately, nowadays, there are nipple guards, which not only protect nipples, but also can make it easier for the baby to latch. You should be able to find nipple guards in the baby aisles at drugstores and grocery stores.

Get a Good Breast Pump

At first, it may seem counterintuitive to use a breast pump if you are trying to nurse. However, your baby may not yet be proficient in latching on and getting milk, which can leave your breasts feeling overly full and sore. To relieve some of that pressure and to keep your milk production up, you’ll need to express at least some of that milk, and a breast pump can help you nourish your baby while they learn how to properly latch.

Talk to a Specialist about a Potential Tongue Tie

If you have worked with a lactation consultant and tried all these tips already with no breastfeeding success, it could be time to see a pediatric dentist. Your baby could have a tongue tie, which is an excessively thick piece of tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth. With restricted movement of the tongue, your baby may be unable to raise it up to create the necessary suction on the nipple. Through a procedure called a frenectomy, the pediatric dentist can release the tongue, improving your baby’s ability to nurse.

Although breastfeeding requires a bit of extra work for you and your little one, you can still connect with your baby and have a good experience. So, try these tips and make nursing better today!

About the Practice

At Chicago Tongue-Tie Center, Dr. Justin and Dr. Bindi are board-certified pediatric dentists who specialize in diagnosing and treating lip and tongue ties. For little patients who need a frenectomy, they use a LightScalpel soft tissue laser, which makes the procedure faster and more comfortable. Following the tongue-tie release, they recommend breastfeeding the baby, both to help soothe them and to see almost instantaneous improvement. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, just contact our office online or call 312-248-2455.

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