Studies show that newborns are capable of a good latch-on in the hour immediately following birth. Experts recommend putting your baby to the breast as soon as you can after delivery -- it may make subsequent latch-ons easier.
Your baby should have:
- His chin pressed into your breast
- His nose nearly touching your breast
- His lips splayed out wide
- All of your nipple in his mouth -- you should only be able to see half or less of the areola (the dark area around your nipple)
You should feel:
- A gentle sucking. Latch-on may hurt for the first few seconds and could make you sore for as long as a minute, but if you feel pain longer than that, disengage baby's mouth (using your index finger) and try again.
- Comfortable enough to stay in the position for anywhere between 10 to 40 minutes. Lean back into the chair, try to relax your shoulders, and breathe.
Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; La Leche League
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.