You’ve probably heard that the key to proper and comfortable breastfeeding is a proper latch, but how in the world do you get one when you and your baby are struggling? The answer is simple – make a boob sandwich.
You probably never imagined yourself saying those words together. Still, a boob sandwich, often called a nipple sandwich or a c-hold while breastfeeding, is a technique designed to help mothers achieve a deep latch for optimal feeding.
As a mother who has breastfed four kids, let me tell you – mastering the boob sandwich is a game-changer. Once learned, you’ll be able to get a deep latch each time you breastfeed. This simple technique is too often forgotten, but it can make a huge difference.
Let’s dive into what the boob sandwich is and how to use the sandwich technique while breastfeeding.
What is a Boob Sandwich?
Your boob is sort-of like a balloon with the knot at the end being your nipple. It’s common for babies to try to latch just to the nipple, slurping like a straw, rather than taking in part of your areola and breast tissue. Not only can that cause a problem with milk transfer, but nipple latching hurts badly and leads to cracked and bleeding nipples over time.
Instead of slurping the nipple, your baby needs to take a bigger chunk of your breast into your mouth, like they’re eating a boob sandwich. You want your baby to take a big, juicy latch while breastfeeding, but babies tend to be lazy and refuse to do so unless encouraged.
A boob sandwich is when you take your thumb and fingers and hold your boob like a C, creating a “sandwich” that your baby will use to latch. Your thumb will be up by your baby’s nose and the four fingers on the bottom of your breast.
Not only does the nipple sandwich latch help your baby get a larger mouthful of breast, but it also supports your breast tissue. You might find that breastfeeding is more comfortable while using this technique, as well.
How to Use The Sandwich Hold While Breastfeeding
Convinced that you have to learn how to use the nipple sandwich while breastfeeding? Let’s take a look at how you can do this; it’s much easier than you might imagine!
1. Get in a Comfortable Position
The very first thing you should do is get into a comfortable breastfeeding position. Everyone has a different opinion on what position works best for them. You might love the cradle hold, but others use the football hold.
Find what works best for your baby and go with it. Make sure you are comfortable and that you can support your breast in this position.
2. Cup Your Breast in a C-Hold
Now that you’re settled into the position you want to use while breastfeeding, take out the breast you want to nurse from first and put your hand around it. Your thumb should be at the top of your breast, centered with your nipple but in the middle of your boob. Your other four fingers should support the bottom of your breast.
Doing this is called a c-hold because it forms a C if you make the same position with your hands.
3. Point Your Breast
Here comes the essential part.
Hold your baby in the position, and point your breast upwards, away from your baby. Pull your baby towards your breast; never put your hand on the back of your baby’s heart. Bring your baby to your breast, but never shove your baby’s head towards it.
Then, point your breast towards your baby’s nose; the smell of your milk will cause your baby to lift his head and open his mouth in anticipation. Use those instincts to your benefit!
4. Latch Your Baby
Now, gently let your breast fall into your baby’s wide-open mouth. When your baby latches, make sure he has plenty of your areola in his mouth as well. His lips should not be sucked in; they should be pointed out in a pout.
You did it!
This is a simple boob sandwich; it doesn’t take any longer to latch once you get used to using this technique. Some babies need their mother to hold her breast throughout the feed or risk losing the latch. This is typically more common in young babies; as your baby gets older, he shouldn’t need help maintaining the latch.
Once your baby is in this position, you can also use breast massages and compression to encourage more milk flow to your baby. It helps increase your milk supply and its overall fat content.
The C-Hold Doesn’t Always Work
The technique does work for everyone, but the c-hold might not work for those with larger breasts or in certain positions. In these situations, you might want to try the U-hold or a V-hold.
A u-hold is essentially the c-hold rotated. Take your hand, make a C, and turn it with your wrist at the bottom; that’s a u-hold. If you open your fingers like a V, you have a v-hold.
The concept is relatively easy to understand, but you have to make sure to keep your fingers away from your nipple. It shouldn’t prohibit your baby from latching onto your breast.
Making a boob sandwich sounds strange, but it’s an effective technique to get a deep latch. If you’re struggling to get a comfortable latch with your baby, give the c-hold latch a try. It can make a huge difference and lead to a successful breastfeeding relationship.
Hey, this is Linda. My biggest accomplishment in life is being a mother of four children. Their current ages range from almost ten years old down to 20 months old.
I’m passionate about writing parenting articles because I understand so well all of the problems and trials you face as a parent. From breastfeeding woes to budgeting problems and behavior problems, along with everything in between, chances are I’ve faced it over the last ten years. Read more about Linda here.