Real talk: it feels…weird. Not like anything you’ve experienced before, and you might be shocked at how much sucking power your tiny little human has. Joelleen Winduss Paye, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), midwife and naturopath says, “you will be looking for a sucking/vacuum feeling and strong tugging/pulling sensations.” And yes, it may take a bit for you to get used to this new feeling in your body. And remember, not only can the sucking strength of a baby vary, each person’s experience or tolerance of pain is different too. “Mothers who have had a spinal or epidural procedure during labour may experience some reduced sensitivity as the pain medication may temporarily block certain nerves around the nipple and breast area,” Joelleen notes, so if this is you, take extra care in ensuring the latch is correct. If the tugging feeling veers into “pinching” or a sharp pain, that’s when you need to reassess. “This may indicate that your nipple isn’t deep enough into your baby’s mouth, aka: a shallow latch,” says Joelleen. “When the nipple is not deep enough into the baby’s mouth, it will be compressed with the hard structures in the baby’s mouth (gums and roof of mouth),” she says. And that’s when those sharp sensations can happen. The aim is to achieve a deep latch by moving the nipple further back into the baby’s mouth, which will make everything a lot more comfortable.

Signs of a good latch


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