One of our popular blog posts that we often refer to mamas who are having issues with getting a nice deep latch is this blog post about the Nipple Twist Latch. It's a great way to get a nice deep latch. There is another way that I have personally used, referred my postpartum clients and others to use as well with great success. It's called "The C Hold". This is an excellent technique that works especially well with moms who have large breasts or babies with small mouths (preemies, small jaws etc).
"C" hold--Support your breast with your thumb on top, well back from your areola (the darker skin surrounding the nipple) and the fingers underneath. Your fingers should also be well back from your baby's mouth. This hold is helpful when breastfeeding in the clutch or football position as well as the cradle position. This hold is especially helpful for babies with tiny mouths (small jaws, preemies etc) or women with larger breasts.
A variation of the "C" hold is the "U" hold where your hand is cupping your breast in the shape of a "U.
"The U-hold helps keep mother's fingers behind her areola so that they do not interfere with baby's latch. it allows mother to support her breast comfortably. It is extremely useful when holding baby in the cradle or cross-cradle position because it allows the alignment of the oval of breast tissue to match the position of baby's mouth. The long axis of the oval goes corner to corner in baby's mouth. This helps ensure baby gets a larger mouthful of breast. When the U-hold is used with the football (clutch) position or the side-lying position, the improper alignment of this oval to baby's mouth can make it harder for baby to latch on well." (Andrea Eastman, IBCLC)
Checking if your baby is latched on well:
Aim your nipple slightly towards the roof of his mouth, bringing baby to you, chin first.
Good latch-on checkpoints for your baby include:
his nose is nearly touching your breast, that is, no further away than a credit card edge
his lips are flanged
at least ½ inch of your breast around the base of your nipple is in his mouth.
If the latch is uncomfortable or painful, gently place your finger in the baby's mouth, between his gums, to detach him and try again.
A baby who is offered the breast will suck without swallowing as he positions the nipple in his mouth and tells your breast he is ready for the milk to let down. When he begins to receive milk, you will see his jaw working all the way back to his ear. His temples will wiggle. You will also hear him swallowing, quickly at first, then more slowly, as his appetite is satisfied. (excerpt from LLL)