What Is An Asymmetrical Breastfeeding Latch?

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When you think of a breastfeeding latch, you probably think of a traditional latch. When you place your baby on your breast using a traditional latch, you center your baby around your nipple and areola, like a bulls-eye.

An asymmetrical latch is a little different. When you attach your baby to your breast using an asymmetrical latch, the baby will be off-center. The baby will have more of your areola in his mouth near his chin and less of your areola in his mouth near his nose.

This means that you will see more of your areola near your child's upper lip and nose, and less of your areola near the baby's bottom lip and chin. Your nipple will not be straight in the baby's mouth, but tilted high up toward the roof of his mouth. The baby's chin will be pressing into your breast and his nose will be lightly touching your breast or not touching your breast at all.

An asymmetrical latch is thought to be more comfortable than a traditional latch. It is also believed to help a baby more effectively remove breast milk from the breast. For women with very large breasts, an asymmetrical latch lifts the nose off the breast, so it may be a better choice of latch technique if there is a concern that the baby's nose may become blocked while breastfeeding.  


American Academy of Pediatrics. New Mother’s Guide To Breastfeeding. Bantam Books. New York. 2011.

Newman, Jack, MD, Pitman, Theresa. The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers. Three Rivers Press. New York. 2006.

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