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Latching on correctly
By Jo-Anne Lawless, HCA, LC

Jo-Anne LawlessQ. I am having trouble getting my son to open wide enough. He is only 3 days old, but I'm getting worried because breastfeeding is hurting more each time. The latch looks okay: duck bill lips and as much aerola as possible, but it's really starting to hurt. The only reason I could think of was maybe we aren't latching high enough.

A. The easiest way to get a baby to open his mouth wide enough is to tickle his upper lip with the end of the nipple. He will instinctively open wide. If he has his mouth open wide enough, he should be able to suck as hard as he wants without causing you undue pain. This is a very important component of latching on - they can slurp the nipple in and look as though the latch is correct, but it isn't, as you can tell from the pain. It sometimes takes some practice - once he gets his mouth open wide, be sure the nipple, as it goes in, is pointed toward the roof of his mouth.

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