“Newborn mother”. That’s right. Because when a Baby is born so is a mother. And believe me, the birth of a mother will be, most of the time, more intense than that of a baby. Every day she may have to face new trouble. Go through different anxieties till she becomes a “grown-up mother”. The first issue that the majority of the newborn mothers has to tackle is breastfeeding their baby.
Do you know that just after birth, a newborn will be drawn to the smell of breast milk and has instincts and reflexes to latch onto the mother’s breast? Despite this fact, at times breastfeeding can be problematic and be challenging for newborn mothers especially if she has no clue of latching procedure.
The word “latch” refers to how the baby attaches his or her mouth to the breast while breastfeeding. If the baby couldn’t latch properly, the breastfeeding not only could be a painful experience for the mother, as the chances of developing cracked and sore nipple increases, but it can also make the baby cranky as the baby will not get adequate milk.
Focusing on some factors will help your baby to latch properly which brings about a pain-free, successful nursing session.
Here are some of the steps that may help you and your baby to breastfeed more easily and comfortably.
Start feeding the baby breast milk as early as possible. The earlier you start feeding, the more likely you’ll be able to take all the advantage of the baby’s so-called natural instinct.
Recognize the signs of bad latching:
It will be difficult for newborn mothers for making out if the baby is latching well. Here are the signs of bad latching:
- Experiencing pain in nipple while nursing. Pain in nipple indicates the baby is chewing the nipple instead of latching properly.
- Hearing clicking or smacking noises as the baby tries to suck.
- The baby is sucking in her cheeks as he or she tries to breastfeed. Likewise, you may not see or hear the sound of swallowing.
- After feeding the baby if you find a wrinkle over your areola or a descending tilt to the tip of the nipple.
- After you breastfeed your child, if the baby appears unhappy and frustrated, and keeps on hinting he or she is still hungry.
- Weight gaining will not be up to mark
Whenever you see the signs of a poor latch, you should not continue feeding, instead, you should break the latching by slowly and gently removing the child from the breast and assist the baby to latch properly.
Know the signs of a good latch:
Here are the signs that your baby is latching well:
- The baby’s tongue stays underneath your nipple.
- You could feel a drawing sensation in your breast
- Baby’s chin and nose touch the breast while latching
- After each feeding, the baby appears to be happy, energetic, and pleased and the breasts feel vacant and softer after nursing.
- You can hear your baby swallow while he is feeding.
Recognize hunger cues:
When babies are hungry, they will start to show the signs way before they start to cry. If you miss that cue the baby will start to cry and will be distressed. In fact, a fussy baby can make latching more difficult. Make it a practice to nurse your child on early cues of hunger itself. Here are some hunger cues:
- Baby starts to lick the lips
- Baby takes hands in mouth adamantly and cries if you try to bring it down.
- Baby starts to suck the hands and fingers
- Crying, which is that last sign of hunger.
If the baby always wakes up crying, it is most probably because he woke up due to hunger. In such instances, feed the baby when they show signs of waking up.
Find a comfortable position:
Getting yourself comfortable is the foremost thing you have to do before starting breastfeeding. Use as much as pillows you want to support your arms, head, and neck. You can also use a comfortable chair with a proper back support. In that case, use a stool to rest your feet. Sit in a good posture that will put no strain your neck and shoulder. Remember, you have to remain in the same posture for a reasonable time span.
Hold your baby properly:
Hold your baby in a comfortable position. A position that won’t allow his or her neck to twist while latching. Here are four famous breastfeeding positions to choose from. Select the one which suits you and your baby.
Cross Cradle position
Sit comfortably in a chair with armrests. Bring your baby towards the front of your body. Maintain tummy to tummy position. Hold your baby at the angle of your arm that is opposite of the breast from which you’re feeding on. That is, if you are feeding on the right breast, hold the baby in the left hand and vice versa. With the other hand, support your breast from beneath in a U-shaped hold.
The cross-cradle position is a very useful and ideal position during the initial weeks of breastfeeding, especially for the new mother, as it allows the mother to take the advantage her both hands.
This position is ideal for babies with latching issues
This is the most popular position among mothers.
It is similar to the cross cradle position with one difference. Here, you have to hold the baby with the arm of the same side of the breast of which you wish to feed your baby. Support the baby in such a way that his or her head rests comfortably in the bending of your elbow.
It is the position you can try after a couple of weeks, once you are a more experienced mother.
This position suits well if you’re recovering from a C-section or if you have large breasts. This position put zero pressure on the belly that undergoing a healing process after C-section.
In this position, you tuck your baby under your arm on the same side that you’re going to feed him. For this, with the help of a pillow, place your baby under your arm. Your baby’s feet and legs should put under your arm, directing towards your back. Use your forearm to support the baby’s upper back & hand to support his head. Support your breast in a C-shaped hold with your other hand. Remember to bend the baby’s leg at the hip, thereby, he will not be able to push the feet against wherever you are leaning to. Remember to bend the baby’s leg at the hip so that he will not shove the feet against wherever you are leaning to.
Side lying position
This position is ideal for night feeding or if you are tired to sit in an upright position. It is also a comfortable position for the mothers who give birth through C-section.
Lie down on your side. With the help of a pillow or blanket, slightly turn the baby towards you so that his chest and tummy always faces you. Make sure the nose of the baby is in line with the nipple.
Position the baby properly:
Proper holding of the baby alone cannot guarantee a good latch. The baby should be properly positioned as well. Here are some measures to ensure proper positioning of the baby during latching.
- Make sure that the baby is lying close to your body throughout the feeding. There ought to be no space between you and your infant.
- Ensure your baby’s mouth is wide open when latching on.
- Ensure you bring your baby towards you rather than leaning towards the baby
- Use a good breastfeeding pillow. It can have a tremendous effect in positioning to latch on well.
- Make sure your baby is tummy-to-tummy with you throughout the feeding.
- Try to get as much of the lower portion of the areola (the area around the nipple) in the baby’s mouth.
Remember, breastfeeding time is the bonding time. Talk to your baby, hum lullabies, gently massage his feet while feeding the baby. This will make breastfeeding an outstanding experience.