Thursday, October 30, 2014

Yank, Shove, Flip

Pull down on baby's chin while pulling head in tighter.
By Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

I often see mothers who are experiencing varying degrees of nipple pain. One of the primary causes of nipple pain is a shallow latch. So first I teach moms HOW to latch baby onto the breast.

I really like Dr. Jack Newman's information on latch-on. I always tell moms to latch with chin LOW on the areola and to bring baby's head "up and on." Mom needs to relax back and bring baby to the breast. Never lean over the baby. In fact, some newborns do very well with laid back nursing where mom is reclining.

However, sometimes a mom will have baby latch on using the "up and on" technique, but the latch still feels pinchy. At this point, I teach mom how to deepen the latch using a technique I call "Yank, Shove, Flip."
Flip baby's upper lip so it is flanged

  1. Yank - insert a finger between baby's chin and mom's breast and pull down hard on baby's chin at the very same time as you
  2. Shove - pull baby's head in tighter to the breast.
  3. Flip - use your finger to flip up baby's upper lip so that it is flanged.
The result should be a deeper, more comfortable latch. If Mom is still feeling pain, she can try "yank, shove, flip" again, but if that doesn't resolve the pain, she probably needs to see a lactation consultant for additional help. There are some causes of latch problems that Yank, Shove, Flip won't resolve. If baby is tongue-tied or has an upper lip tie, it may not be possible for baby to get a deep latch or keep his upper lip flanged. Unfortunately, some pediatricians refuse to acknowledge the proven effect that these conditions have on breastfeeding. If you suspect that your baby has an oral anatomy condition that makes breastfeeding difficult, see a breastfeeding professional who knows how to identify these conditions.

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