Instinct, Reflex and Newborn Latch
Newborns have an instinct to try to find the breast, but this instinct is triggered only when a newborn is positioned snugly against you, ideally skin-to-skin.
This leads us to your FIRST STEP, which is to place your baby such that he or she is firmly in contact with your body- from his or her nipples all the way to his or her thighs. If your baby feels secure and comfortable he or she will then be able to focus on the breast.
Your SECOND STEP is to take advantage of your baby's breastfeeding reflexes. Position your baby's head so that his or her chin touches your breast under the areola. For this to happen, his or her head will need to be tipped back. (the same way you would tip your head back to open wide for a big sandwich). The gentle touch of the chin on the breast will then trigger your baby's reflex to open very wide.
THIRD STEP – Now push quickly and firmly on your baby's shoulders to bring him or her onto the breast. Do not push the head! Your nipple will be deep in your baby's mouth, out of harm's way against his or her palate. The touch of the nipple to the palate will trigger your baby's reflex to suck. If the nipple does not reach this spot, your baby will pull away.
FOURTH STEP – Watch for swallowing. A swallow is a longer, slower movement of the lower jaw and is almost always followed by an audible exhale from the nostrils. Your job is to keep your baby swallowing until he or she refuses to suck so watch your baby's signals, not the clock!
Your baby is well-positioned if the latch is comfortable and your baby is swallowing. No need to peek at the position of the baby's lips. Pain is not normal with breastfeeding and means that the baby's tongue is in the wrong place. Looking at the lips does not tell you where the tongue is! But you certainly can tell from the way it feels.
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