Does baby still get milk with a bad latch?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

Without a proper latch, it is possible that your baby may not get enough milk during breastfeeding. When the latch is not right, your baby may struggle to effectively extract milk from your breast. This can lead to inadequate milk transfer and poor milk supply.

During breastfeeding, your baby’s mouth should be wide open with the nipple and a good portion of the areola inside their mouth. This allows for proper suction and milk flow. If the latch is shallow or incorrect, your baby may only be able to suck on the nipple, which can cause nipple pain and damage.

When your baby primarily sucks on the nipple, it can lead to nipple trauma such as cracking, bleeding, or soreness. This can make breastfeeding a painful and uncomfortable experience for you. Additionally, a poor latch can result in ineffective milk removal from the breast, which can lead to engorgement, blocked milk ducts, and even mastitis.

If your baby is not able to effectively remove milk from your breasts, it can send a signal to your body that less milk is needed. This can lead to decreased milk production over time, perpetuating a cycle of poor milk demand and poor milk supply. It is crucial to establish a proper latch to ensure that your baby receives enough milk and to maintain a healthy milk supply.

Personal experiences and situations can vary, but many breastfeeding mothers have faced challenges with latch issues. It is common to struggle with getting the latch right in the early days of breastfeeding. Seeking support from a lactation consultant or a breastfeeding support group can be immensely helpful in overcoming latch difficulties.

A bad latch during breastfeeding can interfere with your baby’s ability to get enough milk and can lead to nipple pain and damage. It is important to address latch issues promptly to ensure proper milk transfer, maintain a healthy milk supply, and create a more comfortable breastfeeding experience for both you and your baby.