Your newborn is amazing! Baby-Led Latching (also called Laid-Back Breastfeeding or Biological Nurturing) is where your newborn can crawl up and root around all on their own to find your nipple.
With a little help from you, baby led latching can be the start to an amazing breastfeeding journey. It’s also very helpful for those of you struggling with a latch. (wish I had of known about it 10 years ago when I was trying to breastfeed my first son)
Did you know the bumps around our nipples on the areola (Areolar glands or Glands of Montgomery) produce and secrete a fluid that smells like amniotic fluid? This helps baby feel at home & have an easier time finding the nipple, because the smell is so familiar. (That’s why when people say the baby can smell your milk when you walk into a room, it’s true.) ^_^
Baby-led latching is a natural and simple way for your baby to find your breast right after birth or any time you are breastfeeding. It is especially helpful when your baby is learning to breastfeed, when your baby is not breastfeeding well, or when your nipples are sore.
• Sit comfortably with support, leaning back.
• Hold your baby skin-to-skin so that her tummy rests on you with her head near your breast.
• Your baby was born with a reflex that helps her find your nipple. It is called the “rooting” reflex. You will notice her turning her head or moving it up and down looking for your breast. This may look like bobbing or pecking.
• Support your baby’s back and bottom with your arm and hand while she moves towards your breast. When her shoulders and hips are supported, she can tilt her head back a little. This will help her latch.
• Your baby will find your nipple. She may touch it with her hands first.
• After a few tries your baby will push her chin into your breast, reach up with an open mouth, and latch to your breast.
• Once your baby is latched, you can adjust your position and your baby’s position to make sure you are both comfortable.
This was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced. I just learned about it earlier this year during our prenatal class. I never took a class with my first son, 10 years ago and no one at the hospital mentioned this to me. I may have had better luck breastfeeding the first time around if they had.
Did you try baby led latching?
Check out our posts Benefits of breastfeeding & Things I’ve learned about breastfeeding on my new journey: for more!