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How to break latch properly

By | Breastfeeding, Classes

Whether breastfeeding is going great from the beginning or is requiring a little more attention and practice, you’ll want this “tool” in your back pocket!  I talk a lot in my classes about having plenty of “tools” or techniques that you are educated on to be able to use in lots of different common breastfeeding situations.  I also explain the difference between the sensation you’ll feel when baby is latched on properly, or pain that comes from an incorrect or poor latch.

Good Latch

Some of the ways Moms describe the feeling of a good latch is,

“It’s a tugging and pulling sensation”, “I feel some pressure there”,  “I feel something, but it doesn’t hurt”.

baby sucking on her mom's nipple

Bad Latch

Some of the ways Moms describe a bad latch are,

“Ouch!”,  “It’s pinching,” and they describe their pain above 5 on a 0-10 pain scale (10 being the worst).

Don’t ‘Muscle Through’

The key to avoiding skin breakdown and nipple pain is to avoid a bad latch for an extended period of time.  I have had some clients who thought they had to muscle through nipple pain because they got bad advice like, “It’s going to hurt, that’s just part of breastfeeding.”  That’s not true!  A good latch will not hurt!  Let me explain this a little further.  Your nipples will most likely feel tender post-delivery.  That is much different than Ouch! Ouch! 9/10 pinching pain.  Also, if you have had an incorrect latch for several feeds to a few days, there may be some pain with a good latch while healing is occurring.  Many women are able to continue breastfeeding during the healing as long as the problem has been corrected.  Nipple pain and soreness is one of the top 3 reasons mothers wean their babies!  So what do you do when you are having a lot of pain during latch-on?  Read on!

How to break latch properly

When you have a poor latch, it’s important to break the latch properly, and start over with the latch process.  Most of the time this problem can be solved by waiting for the infant to open their mouth wide, and also bringing them onto the breast deeply.  There are two ways to break the latch properly.

Insert your finger into the corner of baby’s mouth – push back in between the gums


mom finishing breastfeeding 018-storyboard

Roll the baby’s top lip back toward their nose

019-storyboard breaking a latch

I hope this helps!  More great tips, pictures, and video tutorials in my Breastfeeding video classes, available to view at your convenience.  No need to ‘sign up’, just click and watch.  Also the classes come with a notes outline, can be watched as many times as you like, and never expire!  I’m running a great giveaway today on instagram and be sure to download my free PDF, ‘Top Ten Tips for Breastfeeding Success’.

I’ve created this great e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.


Thanks for coming by today!

xo ~ Lindsey, RN, IBCLC

Lindsey head shot

How to relieve breast pain while breastfeeding via lactationlink.com

“I keep getting plugged ducts! Help!”

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips

I’ve had a lot of questions on Instagram about plugged ducts, causes and management. I address this topic in detail in my Breastfeeding Hurdles and How-to’s class. I’m going to answer a few of your questions on the topic directly today!

best tips for plugged ducts via lactationlink.com“How do I know if I have a plugged duct or mastitis?”

Mastitis means inflammation of the breast tissue, and comes in different forms, including plugged ducts. A plugged duct means that a milk duct is not draining properly and milk is getting stopped up in that area. If a plugged duct is managed improperly, it can lead to an infection of the breast tissue.

Here are some signs that you have a plugged duct (1):

  • tender spot
  • redness
  • sore lump
  • no fever
  • comes on gradually
  • may shift in location
  • little or no warmth to the touch
  • feel generally well

“I keep getting plugged ducts! What do I do?”

best tips for plugged ducts via lactationlink.comLike I mentioned, it’s important to manage plugged ducts properly, so you don’t develop a breast tissue infection.

Here are some ways to treat and alleviate plugged ducts (2):

  • ensure a good latch (asymmetrical latch technique)
  • frequent nursing (at least every 2 hours on affected side)
  • alternate breastfeeding positions
  • gentle breast massage in circular motion
  • warm compress 10-20 min before feeding
  • loosen constrictive clothing (bra underwire)
  • Don’t use breast shells
  • Get more rest
  • Decrease stress

Want more great tips like these to get breastfeeding off to a good start? Click the image below!


Thanks for stopping by,


Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC


  1. Lawrence, R., & Lawrence, R. (1998). Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession (5th edition). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.
  1. Mohrbacher, N., & Stock, J. (2003). La Leche League International The Breastfeeding Answer Book (3rd edition). Schaumburg, IL: La Leche League International.


Volume of breastmilk needed when bottle feeding. via lactationlink.com, a lactation consultant's blog.

Volume of breastmilk when bottle-feeding

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips

I held a Q&A last week on Instagram, and many Moms asked me about how much breastmilk to feed their baby when bottle-feeding. This is a valid concern because many of us will be separated from our infants at some point due to returning to work, travel, or a night out. When we are breastfeeding, we can’t see the volume the infant is receiving. This is why many women constantly worry about their supply. Some great indicators that your supply is just fine are wet/messy diapers, baby is content between feeds, appropriate weight gain, etc.

volume of breastmilk needed when bottlefeeding via lactationlink.comIt is impossible for anyone to say how much milk an infant will want at any given feeding. A small baby will consume anywhere from 2-4 ounces, 8-12 times, in a 24 hour period (1). Another good rule of thumb early on is an ounce per month old the infant is. From there, the caregiver will start to gauge how much the infant needs at a feeding. Chances are, an older breastfed infant won’t consume 8-9 ounces during a feed like their formula-fed counterparts. Why? Because the energy components of breastmilk are utilized more efficiently than formula, so less is required. Keep in mind, even breastfed babies will consume more volume when breastmilk is offered in a bottle rather than the breast. This is due to the faster flow rate of a bottle.

volume of breastmilk needed for bottlefeeding via lactationlink.comTips to use when offering a breastfed baby a bottle to avoid overfeeding:

  • Using the slowest flow nipple available
  • Holding the baby in a more upright position to let gravity slow the flow
  • “Pacing the feed”, taking short breaks to allow the infant to realize when they’re satisfied

Also, remember that the baby is the most efficient remover of milk so when you are reunited, allow your infant to feed often to ensure the maintenance of a good milk supply! I hope this helps all of you that were asking.

I have a great giveaway going on right now for a Solly Baby wrap, ends tonight at midnight so hurry and enter on my instagram page @lactationlink!

Want some great education and support to get breastfeeding off to a great start? Click the image below!


Thanks for stopping by,


Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC



1. Mohrbacher, N., & Stock, J. (2003). La Leche League International The Breastfeeding Answer Book (3rd edition). Schaumburg, IL: La Leche League International.