The top breastfeeding specialist know that those early days (and nights!) are crucial to successful breastfeeding. But many mothers and babies struggle in the beginning. Read on on how to prevent and treat those annoying early problems.
9 Ways to prevent and treat these early breastfeeding problems:
- HOLD YOUR BABY A LOT. Think about where your baby was just a few short days ago...tightly bound up inside your uterus, likely head down. It was dark - and LOUD, and warm and your movements constantly rocked him gently in the amniotic fluid. This was her home. Try to replicate this as best as you can and you will find your baby magically calmed. (I don’t suggest putting him back inside you however!)
- SKIN-TO-SKIN. A breastfeeding mom’s best position. Take it all off, baby in diaper, you bare chested (save that nursing bra for work). Partners have a good chest for this also - even if it IS hairy! Place baby, lean back, close eyes, get rest. Heavenly.
- TAKE NAPS TOGETHER. Your baby CAN sleep on your chest, up between your breasts.
- LOOK FOR THE EARLY HUNGER CUES. If your baby isn’t already skin-to-skin, place the baby there.
- ALLOW BABY-LED LATCHING. Place your baby skin-to-skin between your breasts. Follow the baby’s lead, bringing his rear up as he moves head down. Keep face, cheek, lips, chin toughing breast so he knows where it is. Line up nose to nipple, chin and lower lip touching the breast. Baby can now reach with his upper lip up and over the nipple to form an “off-center” comfortable latch.
- FORGET THE CLOCK. Let your baby nurse as often and as long as she wants to, as long as it is mutually comfortable. A “full baby” will go to sleep happily between the breasts, a “hungry baby” will continue to root and self-latch.
- HELP A FRANTIC BABY BY CALMING BABY FIRST. Move baby away from the nipple if she is too frantic to latch - keep the breast a happy place to be! Place back between breasts, upright, stroke his back, make eye contact, talk to her say “shhhhhhh”. Let the baby suck on your finger with the soft side up to the palate. Hand baby off to another person. If these don’t work, feed a little expressed breastmilk or formula 1/2 -1 ounce or so, as soon as the baby has calmed down, put back skin-to-skin and let baby look for breast again as above.
- DO NOT PUT UP WITH PAIN! If the latch hurts alot break suction by gently pulling back on baby’s cheek at the corner of her mouth. Relatch again until it doesn’t hurt. If baby is sucking well, sometimes pulling down on the chin or on the lower lip will adjust the latch enough to make a little painful latch feel better. Breastfeeding should not hurt, if it does, something is wrong - GET HELP!
- TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. TRUST YOUR BABY’S INSTINCTS