18 answers

Help! Wider Latch-on Needed

My baby is feeding really well (she's 5 days old now) and has already surpassed her birth weight, but her latch is so narrow that its killing my nipples. Anybody have any suggestions on how to get her to latch-on more widely? We've been to the doctor and have been assured that there aren't any physical or other kinds of problems, it's just that she wants to latch very narrowly. I didn't have any problems BFing my son in the beginning, so I'd love some advice (even if it's just for a lactation consultant).


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So What Happened?™

Hi, I appreciate all this support and advice! In the end, I decided I wanted some one-on-one advice from a lactation consultant, and am SO happy that I took the advice of one poster and called Peggy at the Art of Breastfeeding ###-###-####). She took the time to help me work with my baby and restored my confidence and joy in breastfeeding. I understand better the advice I'm reading here after talking with her, and appreciate the tips to call someone with experience!

Featured Answers

Doctors are not the best for this -- call the Art of Breast Feeding, ###-###-####.
I've used them for both of my daughters and they are great!

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I had the same issues with my second. I really recommend picking up Breastfeeding Made Simple. It really helped me the second time around. The website has some really great animations that may help as well.

Couple tips:
1. Try making a "sandwich" out of your breast so there is a smaller area for her to have to get into her mouth

2. Try to get her to open really really wide by tickling her cheek with your nipple and then watching for that reflex and pop it in. Know that you will most likely have to do it over and over. Make sure to break the seal with your finger before pulling her off if her latch is too narrow.

3. Know that her mouth is tiny and it will get bigger and it will get easier. It's great that she's gaining so she's getting milk.

4. Try doing the "roll on technique"- where you lead her to latch on with the bottom of her mouth and roll her mouth to latch the top last.

5. Use lots of support-- pillows- boppies.

6. Be patient. You are BOTH learning this. Even though you've done this before-- you haven't done this before with HER!

7. Maybe the most important of all. CALL A LLL leader. Go to a meeting. Call a lactation consultant. There's one who frequents this board.

Get help NOW before you get yourself into trouble. Painful nipples are not necessary and you risk mastitis (I've had it and it's NO fun).

Where are you located-- I'd be happy to help you find resources.

Most drs. are not helpful when it comes to these things as they are not trained for this!

1 mom found this helpful

My second child did the same thing and it about killed me. For a few weeks I had to continually pop her off and hold her back until she opened her mouth wider and then allow her to re-latch. She would often narrow down again, but after a few weeks of the constant do-overs she got the hang of it. I would hold her back and she would open that little mouth wider and wider trying to find the goods. Then I would kinda squeeze my breast to bulge it and then insert in the wider mouth. It took awhile but it worked finally....or maybe she just did it better as she got older on her own...who knows. Kinda hard to ask her.

1 mom found this helpful

With my second son, I had to really "teach" him how to get the right latch. This is difficult because you're still holding their head and it seems like you need another hand or something but what helped him was to literally place a good amount of the nipple and areola in his mouth after stroking his cheek a little. If he did not have a good latch I would gently break the latch by inserting my finger and then try again. Also, it doesn't hurt to have a lactation consultant check his latch as they may have other ideas and information. Congrats on your new little one!

Try holding the breast in one hand and the baby's little head in the other hand. Tickle her mouth with the nipple and as soon as she opens wide, very quickly push her onto the nipple. If she doesn't get all or most of the areola in her mouth, you might want to try again. Slip your finger into the side of her mouth and pop her off. It sometimes takes a couple of tries especially when they are so tiny. Another trick when she is already latched on is to push down gently on her little chin to open her mouth wider, rolling her lower lip out into a pouty lip. You can also try and roll her upper lip out a little while she is latched on. It can be painful if their little lips are rolled in instead of out. Don't worry if you have to re-latch a few times each time you feed her. She is learning and eventually she will do it on her own.

I used a lactation consultant at the Art of Breastfeeding. I don't remember her name - maybe peggy. She was great. She came to the house. It cost $200 I think but was worth every penny.


I would be happy to see you and help you ..

Breastfeeding and Parenting Solutions
800 LACTATE(800 822 5253)

I also had issues and really the best help you can get is hands on help. I would really encourage you to go see or have a lactation consultant come to your home. It takes some practice and you don't want the baby getting into bad habits. It can get so painful, so for the sake of your nipples have a LC watch and give you feedback ;)Good luck!!

When I had problems breastfeeding at the beginning I had Peggy Healy come to my house. She is a lactation consultant with The Art of Breastfeeding. She works in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.


She was amazing and helped me so much. I bet she'd have some great suggestions. And a friend of mine called her on the phone once to ask some questions, and there was no charge for that, and according to my friend it was really helpful.

Good Luck and congratulations on your new baby!

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