Skin-to-Skin & Latch

Skin-to-Skin & Latch

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Skin-to-Skin & Latching, baby held in the arms of an adult

Skin-to-skin contact encourages both breastfeeding and bonding in baby’s first days​
•  Relax in a comfortable position and lay baby on your bare chest in the first hour for skin-to-skin contact if possible.​
•  Cover baby with blanket to keep warm​
•  Make eye contact, talk, sing and enjoy your time together​
•  It can be discouraging if  your baby doesn’t latch immediately, give them time, they are learning too.​
•  Continue skin-to-skin contact during your hospital stay and when you get back home. The more time you spend in skin-to-skin contact, the easier it will be for your baby to find the nipple and latch-on. Babies learn to breast/chestfeed by being at the breast or chest. 

Learning to latch takes time
•  Place your hand under your breast
•  Use your nipple to tickle baby’s nose and lips.
•  Aim your nipple just above your baby’s top lip​
•  Baby should lean into the breast/chest chin first and then latch onto your breast/chest
 Baby's mouth should be wide and take in some or all of the areola (the darker area around your nipple), and not just take in the nipple.
•  Listening for swallowing sounds can be helpful, but they are not always heard. Look for swallowing movements in your baby’s chin. 
•  If you feel pain, break the suction with your finger and start over​

Visit Droplets for information and watch videos on feeding your baby in the first hour, latching, hand expression, hands-on pumping, and maximizing milk supply.

Visit the Institute for the Advancement of Breastfeeding & Lactation Education for videos on paced bottle-feeding, asymmetrical latch/sandwich hold, fitting breast pump flanges, cup feeding, and finger feeding