Achieving a Perfect Breastfeeding Latch

how to get a good latch

Breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural way to nourish your baby, but it can also come with its fair share of challenges. One of the most crucial aspects of successful breastfeeding is achieving a good latch.

A good latch not only ensures your baby gets the nutrition they need but also prevents discomfort and potential issues for you, the breastfeeding mother. Let’s discuss what a good latch is and step-by-step guidance on how to achieve it.

How To Get a Good Latch?

To achieve a good latch while breastfeeding, ensure your baby has a wide open mouth, covers a significant part of the areola, aligns nose with nipple, and keeps their lips flanged outward. Watch your baby and wait for the right moment before bringing your baby to the nipple.

What Is a Good Latch?

A good latch refers to the way your baby attaches to your breast during breastfeeding. When your baby latches correctly, their mouth covers a significant portion of the areola (the darker area surrounding the nipple), not just the nipple itself. Here are the key elements of a good latch.

  • Deep Latch: Your baby should take in as much breast tissue as possible into their mouth. This ensures that they access the milk ducts beneath the areola, where milk flows freely.

  • Proper Alignment: The baby's nose should be in line with your nipple or slightly tilted back, so their chin presses against your breast. This alignment allows for comfortable and efficient feeding.

  • Wide Mouth: Your baby's mouth should be open wide, similar to a yawn, to create a large and comfortable latch.

  • Lips Flanged Outward: The baby's lips should be flanged outward (not tucked in) to form a good seal around the breast.

How to Get a Good Latch

Step 1: Get Comfortable

Getting comfortable before attempting a good latch is essential for a successful breastfeeding experience. Find a quiet, well-supported seating or lying position, and use pillows or cushions to support your back, arms, and baby. Ensure that your baby is positioned at breast height, so you don't strain your body during the feed.

Comfort allows you to relax, focus on the latch, and prevent unnecessary discomfort during breastfeeding.

Step 2: Hold Your Baby Close

Holding your baby close is a key step in achieving a good latch during breastfeeding. This closeness facilitates a strong connection and helps your baby feel secure.

When positioning your baby, ensure that their entire body is aligned with yours, so their head, shoulders, and hips form a straight line. You should be belly to belly with your baby so that they can be in proper alignment. Use your arm to support your baby's back and head, and cradle them in a way that their mouth is level with your breast.

Step 3: Wait for the Right Moment

Waiting for the right moment to achieve a good latch during breastfeeding is crucial for success. Babies often give cues that they are ready to latch, such as turning their head toward your breast, opening their mouth wide, or even rooting (searching for the nipple).

It's essential to be patient and observant. Wait for your baby to open their mouth as wide as a yawn, which allows for a deeper latch. You can gently encourage this by touching their lower lip with your nipple. By waiting for these cues and timing the latch correctly, you'll create a more comfortable and effective breastfeeding experience for both you and your baby.

Step 4: Bring Baby to the Breast

Once your baby has opened their mouth wide, move them to your breast rather than lowering your breast to them. Aim your nipple toward the roof of their mouth, not the back of their throat.

Make sure their lips are flanged outward, covering a significant portion of the areola. Gently support your baby's head and neck while guiding them onto the breast, maintaining a close and snug position for optimal latching.

Step 5: Watch for Signs of a Good Latch

Recognizing the signs of a good latch while breastfeeding is essential for a comfortable and effective nursing experience:

  • Painless Feeding: A hallmark of a good latch is that breastfeeding should not be painful. You may feel initial discomfort as your baby latches on, but this should quickly subside. If you continue to experience pain throughout the feed, it may indicate an improper latch.

  • Visible and Audible Swallowing: As your baby nurses, you should see and hear them swallow. Swallowing is a sign that your baby is effectively extracting milk. You may notice a rhythmic jaw movement as they swallow.

  • Breast Compression: When your baby is latched well, you'll often feel your breast become softer as milk is effectively transferred. If your breast remains hard, it might indicate that your baby isn't latched deeply enough to access the milk ducts.

  • Comfortable Position: Both you and your baby should be comfortable during the feed. Your baby's nose should be free, not pressed against your breast, to allow for easy breathing. If your baby seems frustrated, fusses, or pulls away frequently, it could be a sign of an inadequate latch.

It's important to pay close attention to these signs during breastfeeding. If you notice any discomfort or issues, don't hesitate to gently break the latch and reposition your baby to achieve a better latch.

Step 6: Seek Support

Don't hesitate to seek help from a lactation consultant or healthcare professional if you're struggling with achieving a good latch. They can provide personalized guidance and support tailored to your specific needs.

My Experience Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding was something I was really looking forward to when I became a new mom, but I quickly realized it wasn't as easy as I'd imagined. Thankfully, I had the support of a fantastic lactation consultant during my hospital stay and even afterward at home.

Getting that perfect latch was a big challenge we tackled together. I learned to hold my baby in a way that her head, shoulders, and hips were all in a straight line. This alignment was not only cozy for her but also made latching on much easier. To help her open her mouth nice and wide, I would gently tickle her nose with my nipple. It's a simple trick that worked like a charm.

Once we got the hang of it, breastfeeding became so much smoother. I could see and hear her swallowing with that rhythmic suck-swallow-breath pattern. My breasts would become softer during the feed, which was a clear sign that she was latched on well and effectively drawing milk.

Overall, my journey with breastfeeding had its challenges, but with the help of a supportive lactation consultant, it turned into a beautiful bonding experience between me and my baby. So, to all the new moms out there, don't hesitate to seek help and support. With the right guidance, you can conquer the hurdles and enjoy the incredible benefits of breastfeeding.


Mastering the art of breastfeeding, particularly achieving a good latch, can take time and practice. Remember that both you and your baby are learning together. Be patient, and don't be afraid to seek help when needed.

A good latch is the foundation for a successful breastfeeding journey, promoting your baby's health and your comfort and satisfaction as a breastfeeding mother.

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Author, Founder @ Latch Luxe

Stefanie Statler

Stefanie Statler is an author and the founder of Latch Luxe, with a loving husband and daughter. She is a dedicated advocate for breastfeeding mothers and understands the challenges and joys of motherhood firsthand. Email me at

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