Latching-On and Suckling of the Healthy Term Neonate: Breastfeeding Assessment


  • Karin Cadwell RN, PhD, IBCLC

    Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Karin Cadwell, RN, PhD, FAAN, IBCLC, is a faculty member of the Healthy Children Project and the Union Institute and University. She is the convener of Baby-Friendly USA, implementing the WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in the United States.

Healthy Children Project, 327 Quaker Meeting House Road, East Sandwich, MA 02537. E-mail:


Increasing breastfeeding duration and exclusivity is an acknowledged public health priority. Breastfeeding problems, especially with the healthy term neonate latching-on or feeding with a suboptimal latch, are common reasons for early breastfeeding termination when they result in inadequate breastfeeding, poor milk transfer, and sore nipples. This article describes clinical strategies for systematic latch-on and suckling assessment with the goal of improving the skills of clinicians who provide care for breastfeeding women.