LATCH: a breastfeeding charting system and documentation tool

J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 1994 Jan;23(1):27-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.1994.tb01847.x.


Nurses most often use a subjective "well/fair/poor" system to assess and document breastfeeding. LATCH is a breastfeeding charting system that provides a systematic method for gathering information about individual breastfeeding sessions. The system assigns a numerical score, 0, 1, or 2, to five key components of breastfeeding. Each letter of the acronym LATCH denotes an area of assessment. "L" is for how well the infant latches onto the breast. "A" is for the amount of audible swallowing noted. "T" is for the mother's nipple type. "C" is for the mother's level of comfort. "H" is for the amount of help the mother needs to hold her infant to the breast. The system is visually represented in the same form as the Apgar scoring grid, and the numbers are handled in the same way. With the LATCH system, the nurse can assess maternal and infant variables, define areas of needed intervention, and determine priorities in providing patient care and teaching.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding*
  • Female
  • Forms and Records Control
  • Humans
  • Maternal-Child Nursing
  • Nursing Assessment*
  • Nursing Records*