One of the foundations of breastfeeding is getting that perfect latch-which is a team effort between mom and baby. It's also an easy thing to overlook when troubleshooting!
We checked in with our lactation team-who bring more than 30+ years of experience to the table- and asked for their expert advice. Here are the FOUR tips they shared with us!
Get Mom Comfy First
Grab the pillows, the water bottles, the emotional support beverage, the phone charger...whatever you need to stay in the spot comfortably.
Make sure mom's arms and back are well supported-she will spend good amounts of time in this position, and it can put a lot of strain on her shoulders and neck if she isn't careful!
Align Baby to Your Body
As an infant grows and gains more control over their body, they will often settle themselves into a suitable nursing position. However, in those early days, it's all up to the mama! No matter the position you choose, try to keep baby's ears, shoulders, and hips in a line. In a typical crossbody hold, you can also line baby's belly button up with yours! The important thing is to make sure baby's head and neck are properly supported. This means they can stay latched, and not use energy popping on and off.
Flange Those Lips, Baby!
Get. Those. Lips. FLANGED.
In order to make a proper latch, a baby's lips need to be folded out enough to form a seal. This then creates the suction necessary to get that milk flowing!
Get Help for Any Issues
Breastfeeding is a skill, and there can be a big learning curve. In our classes people learn what is normal and healthy in a breastfeeding relationship, so they can more easily spot when something is not right. This might look like: difficulty latching or maintaining a latch, discomfort or pain for mom, "clicking" noises while nursing, lots of gas, spitting up, and signs of discomfort for baby immediately after eating, signs of tissue restrictions, etc. Whatever your problem may be, don't hesitate to call an IBCLC, even if it's just starting or it doesn't seem like a "big deal" yet. As the lactation experts of the medical world, an IBCLC will be able to help you figure out the source of the problem and their potential solutions. If it happens to fall outside their scope of care, they will be the ones most likely to know who to go to for the next stage of care. Or, at least they should be! ;)
Have you heard these tips before? Let us know who shared them with you in the comments below!
If you are pregnant and hoping to learn more about nursing, we offer in-person and online classes geared towards newborn care and feeding.
You can sign-up for those here: Class Registration
If you are currently nursing but experiencing pain, supply dips, or other common breastfeeding problems, please reach out to our lactation team today. Not only do we take most major insurance plans, but we offer in-office, in-home, and online appointments, making it easy for YOU to get the help you deserve. Use this link to pick your consult time: Lactation Help Now