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How can I get my baby to latch onto my breast better?

My baby isn't eating well. She has a hard time latching on to my nipple and won't feed. How can I help her?


Rita Madden | Other-provider

Rita Madden

It can be quite frustrating when a baby won't latch easily. I recommend you contact certified lactation consultant for help with latch. 

There can be any number of factors that come into play with a baby latching. In the meantime, first, make sure your baby is eating something even if you have to hand express or pump your breasts to get milk.  You can spoon or syringe feed it to her. 

She needs to eat 8-12 times per day. Second, make sure you are pumping or hand expressing regularly (at least every 3 hours) to protect your milk supply.

Sometimes when the milk first comes in babies have a harder time latching on since the breast is firmer and unfamiliar to them. Try pumping for several minutes before you try to latch her on and see if making the nipple softer and more graspable helps. If this continues more than a couple of feedings you need to be pumping both breasts for 10-15minutes every 2-3 hours until she is latching again.

I recommend that you call a lactation consultant for help soon. Here is a link to more information about our lactation consulting services.

Read more answers by Dr. Madden