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Q&A: Baby Has a Different Latching Style?

My newborn gets really mad at me when I try to help her onto my breast. She won't open her mouth wide when I put her nose to my nipple like in all the pictures. Instead she likes to do it her way, slurping in my nipple with her lips. She winds up with a wide mouth covering my areola though, and I'm pretty sure she's getting lots of milk. Is it OK to just let her do this?

If you’re not in pain and your baby is gaining weight properly, this isn’t a problem. But to make baby open wide so that feeding is easier for both of you, you might want to try a feeding position called “laid-back breastfeeding.” This involves leaning back into a semi-reclined position (probably how you sit to watch TV) with good arm, shoulders, head, and neck support. Lean back far enough so that your baby can lay tummy-down on your body and make your breast available to her. Not only does this position eliminate the need to support your baby’s weight through the feeding, but gravity keeps your baby’s body pressed against yours, which triggers her inborn feeding instincts. What causes a baby to open wide is the touch to the baby’s chin, which happens automatically in this position. Try it. It makes taking the breast a lot simpler.

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