“A newborn baby has only three demands. They are warmth in the arms of its mother, food from her breasts, and security in the knowledge of her presence. Breastfeeding satisfies all three.” — Grantly Dick-Read
The term breastfeeding paints a warm and fuzzy picture; a picture of a happy baby calmly nursing, comfortably nestled in the crook of the mother’s arm. While many mothers indulge in these peaceful, fuss-free moments, many find that feeding a baby is anything but simple, at least at first. So, what are the key factors that new moms should consider? We take a look.
Get one basic thing correct, and everything else falls into a comfortable pattern. The key to successful and productive breastfeeding is the latch. When the baby is not properly latched on to your breast, it can become very painful. However, when a good position and latch is obtained, breastfeeding can be a wonderful and fulfilling experience for both the mom and the baby.
Get the latch right
Follow these steps to get the perfect latch position:
- Be comfortable. Sit in a comfortable chair that will support you when you feed your baby or figure out a great position on the bed.
- Make sure your baby is tummy-to-tummy with you at all times.
- Make sure you bring your baby to you, do not try to lean into the baby.
- Remember to keep your baby in a comfortable position
- Not too close, not too far, ensure that the baby’s nose should be opposite the nipple.
- You might need to hold your breast to help guide the nipple to your baby’s mouth
- Aim the nipple toward the baby’s upper lip/nose, not the middle of the mouth
Signs that confirm a good latch:
Always keep in mind that there should not be any lasting pain when you are breastfeeding. Do lookout for these signs too.
- The tongue is seen when the bottom lip is pulled down
- Ears wiggle
- There is a circular movement of the jaw rather than rapid chin movement
- Cheeks are rounded
- You do not hear a clicking or smacking noises
- You can hear swallowing
- Chin is touching your breast
- When your baby comes off the breast, the nipple is not flattened or misshaped
- Any discomfort ends quickly after getting the baby latched on
- Your baby ends the feeding with signs of satiety/satisfaction.
Signs of a poor latch:
- Do keep an eye out for these wrong positons and correct them so that the baby can feed properly.
- The Baby’s mouth is barely open.
- The Baby’s tongue is behind the lower gum.
- Baby’s lips are curled in.
- Baby’s chin barely touches your breast.
Common breastfeeding positions.
It is also important to note how you hold your baby during breastfeeding. Here is a look at the common positions.
- Cradle hold
- Cross-cradle hold
- Football hold
- Side-lying position
While most mothers find the cross-cradle or the football positions to be the easiest, there are many who resort to the other holds too. Try out the options and pick a position that is best suited for the mother and the baby.
Do talk to our panel of experts at KJK Hospital about breastfeeding if you have any doubts.
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