The things no one tells you no.27:
Breast feeding takes practice
Mumofsix` featured blog about things no one tells you.
`I thought I would, every now and then,
add a little bit of info that
took me by surprise with my first baby.`
My mood while writing this blog: Ok
After speaking with a few of my friends who have just had their first babies, I decided to write this blog. I love breast feeding and recommend it if you are able.
There is an idea that we have as first time mothers, that after baby is born we will pop out the breast, baby will find it, open its mouth and latch itself onto the proper position. This is far from the truth.
Although breast feeding is a very natural thing to do, it is not always easy. You may feel awkward getting baby in the correct position, baby may not open its mouth very wide making it hard to latch baby on. Each of my babies have been different and my 4h baby has been the hardest to start off with.
Here are a couple of things that have helped me. Pillows, pillows and more pillows. I am small breasted so I need to prop baby up to be level with me. It is no good stooping down to meet baby as your back will soon start to really hurt and the baby will drag down on your nipple causing sore nipples.
There are a variety of holds for breast feeding. Find what is most comfortable for you:
The next thing that is important is to get baby to open its mouth wide before latching on. It is easy to fall into the trap of putting the nipple into a partially opened mouth. Sometimes baby is upset and all you want to do is get baby latched on, so you get that nipple in there no matter how wide the mouth is open. The problem with this is that the baby sucks the end of the nipple and needs as much of the areola ( brown part around the nipple) as he can get. You will end up with very sore cracked nipples and it is not nice. Believe me when I say I cried and dreading feeding my first baby because my nipples were so sore due to bad positioning and latching. Take the time to learn how to get baby to open its mouth.
So how do you get baby to open its mouth wide? There are a few things you can do:
* Make sure your baby’s nose is opposite your nipple * Move your baby close to you and stroke his mouth or cheek with your finger or nipple. He should respond by opening his mouth and turning towards the stimulus. This is the rooting reflex
If baby is sleepy he may not open wide. In this case, strip baby off, or expose feet and give a little tickle. My 4th baby was very lazy at opening his mouth, I just couldn't get him to open wide. My midwife came to visit, watched what was happening, took him from me, stripped him naked and held him by a cold open window briefly. I did not like seeing her do it but when she returned him to me he had the biggest mouth you could imagine and we never looked back. Once the mouth is wide open move your baby towards you so he can take the breast. He should take as much as possible, so that your nipple rests against his upper palate and his tongue is underneath. If the nipple is far enough back in his mouth, it won’t move during the feed, and shouldn’t get sore
I always look for a good K shape of the mouth like this picture:
Look for the following evidence of a good latch:
* Open mouth, with bottom lip curled back * Baby’s chin touching your breast * Mouth and jaw movement * Tops of ears wiggling slightly as he sucks Most of the areola (the pigmented area of skin around the nipple) in the baby’s mouth
He isn’t well latched on if:
You can hear a clicking noise You can see his cheeks are sucked in You feel pain throughout the feed rather than a slight initial soreness
In this case. Slip your finger gently into down side of breast and into baby’s mouth until suction releases then start over again.
5 Comments on Breast feeding takes practice
cris2short - Tuesday, 12 Oct No matter what I did my son would not latch. I ended up pumping for 11 1/2 months to give him breast milk and stopped when I started bleeding. With my daughter she would only latch with a shield. I'm hoping this time around my baby will be able to nurse with no issues.
krystasappleseed - Thursday, 22 Jan I had a very rough time in the beginning. My daughter was early and just wouldnt latch, she kept looking for something else even though it was in her mouth. I was so frustrated! I would cry becuase I couldnt even feed my baby. I was trying to use a nipple sheild and everything. they had me eventually pumping os my colostrum would stay up. we went to more then 5 lactation appts at the hospital ( thank god they had these wonderful woman there to help me cuz i would have given up). it took her a whole month to get back to her birth weight but she did eventually get the hang of it but then took a step back because of nipple confusion and this lead to a milk supply decrease and now i have to take reglan..sigh.. i will purserver and so can you!!
jccj8882 - Monday, 19 Jan my nipples dont poke out like other ppls do and i have been told that i will have trouble trying to breats feed can anyone else relate to this aas i really want to breastfeed
jennys - Thursday, 27 Nov after breastfeeding my first child I was having problems with my secon, I knew he was latched on properly , but my breast where sore ,VERY SORE... BLEEDING AND BLISTERED SORE... which last 8 weeks!! I cried every time he latched on... but I was determined not to give up... come to find out he was slightly tongue tied which was causing our problem... but fixed itself ... if someone would have told me that , that could have been a problem it would have saved me a lot of tears and pain!
coliflower - Friday, 5 Sep I would like to add some advice to the open mouth issue. I had this issue when first learning how to nurse. My midwife came over and told me that some babies don't realize that they can open their mouths this wide. She put on a pair of gloves and rubbed her fingers on his top and bottom gums and slowly stretched his mouth open wide. She said I may have to continue this a while to show him how; but it worked the first time! Baby opened up wide and breastfeeding has been a dream since...well until around 10 weeks when he decided he didn't like the football hold anymore but that is another story for another post. :)