My Most Helpful Breastfeeding Tip

breastfeedingcafecarnivalWelcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is your tips to succeed. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 22nd through August 4th!


The one single most important breastfeeding tip every mom should know

By Christine Poirier-Brotchie

I’m really glad I attended a breastfeeding class when I was pregnant.  It was given by a certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) at St-Joseph Hospital, in Toronto, and it lasted about two hours. There, I heard the one single most important breastfeeding tip that saved my breastfeeding relationship before it had even started.

It can be summed up in a few words: “Open wide like a crocodile”.

croc mouth

Imagine a crocodile’s mouth, full of sharp teeth, ready to take a chunk of flesh off you. Picture it slightly opened and biting the end of your finger tip. You can do the exercise by clawing your right hand’s finger nails over your left hand’s index.  It would not be surprising if you experienced a sharp pain. Now imagine the same crocodile’s mouth, this time wide open, gulping in not only the tip of a finger, but the whole hand. Try it with your right hand’s fingers over your left hand. What do you feel? The pain miraculously disappears as the teeth’s pressure is spread over a larger skin area.

The same principle applies to your baby’s mouth over your nipple.  A slightly opened mouth that only takes in the tip of a nipple will undoubtly hurt. One that is wide open, and that takes in as much breast tissue as possible, will be pain-free.


I remember looking at my daughter in the eye and repeating, “open WIDE, baby”, while mimicking the gesture myself to show her what I meant. I might have looked silly, but avoiding nipple injury was my priority. When I felt the beginning of a tiny little stinging pain (usually right at the start of a feed), I’d insert a finger in the corner of her mouth to break the suction and we’d start over again, until we were both happy and pain-free.

Had you heard of the “open wide like a crocodile” tip before? What is your single most important breastfeeding tip?


Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *