Breastfeeding Positions-What Can Happen If You Are Doing It Wrong
Though a lot is being told about the right breastfeeding positions for newborns, there is hardly anyone talking about the wrong positions and how things can go south because of those little mistakes. We are here today to do exactly that. Yes, talk about the effects of wrong breastfeeding positions. Here are some of the notable effects that follow from wrong breastfeeding positions. Go on and read till the end.
Your Body Gets Sore And Fatigued
Breastfeeding positions for newborns do not only focus on the positioning of the baby. Breastfeeding involves the two of you. Therefore, your comfort is equally important. Whichever breastfeeding position you choose, make sure that it is easy on your body.
Be it sitting upright or lying down, provide enough support to your back and arms. Bad posture will increase the strain on your body, making you stressed and fatigued. If you are not aware, then let us tell you that stress affects the breastmilk supply. In addition, prolonged bad posture can lead to other chronic problems in the near future.
Your Baby Doesn’t Latch ProperlyWhile latching difficulties can be a consequence of certain physical issues like inverted or flat nipples of the mother, down syndrome, cleft lip and palate, and tongue-tie in the baby, very often it is caused due to wrong breastfeeding positions.
When your baby is not comfortable in the hold, is too far from your breasts, or feels a strain in any part of the body while feeding, they will not latch properly. A poor latch can lead to the following conditions. But before heading towards the consequences, let’s see the signs that indicate a poor latch.
- Baby doesn’t wake up for feedings at least 8 times a day
- Baby appears fussy while feeding
- Doesn’t suck even after having the nipple and areola in the mouth
- Falls asleep within a few minutes while feeding
- Continues latching on letting go of your breast
- Feeds for more than half an hour without showing signs of being full
Now, let’s see what can happen if your baby is positioned wrong and doesn’t latch well.
Nipple Pain And Injury
One of the most common signs of an improper latch is nipple pain and injury. As a result of inappropriate breastfeeding positions, the baby fails to latch properly. Problems might arise due to lack of sufficient skin-to-skin contact between the mom and baby, lack of support to the baby’s neck, shoulders, and spine, too much pressure on the baby’s head, and the baby having to turn their head to latch.
In such situations, babies tend to latch superficially. Your nipple and areola will not go sufficiently deep into their little mouths. As a result, it will cause irritation in the nipples, abraded skin, scabbing, bleeding, and a lot of pain.
Do not confuse this with nipple sensitivity which is the soreness of nipples that occurs after the commencement of breastfeeding. It goes away within 30 seconds of your baby's suckling and doesn’t come back after 4-5 days of birth.
If your nipple hurts throughout the feeding and after, try correcting the position during the next nursing sessions. If it still doesn’t help, consult a lactation expert.
Breast Engorgement And Mastitis
A poor latch means your baby isn’t feeding well and emptying your breasts. Accumulation of milk in your breasts can lead to engorgement, the nightmare of breastfeeding mothers. Engorged breasts will be swollen, hard and painful. If you leave it unmanaged, then the condition can exacerbate due to clogged milk ducts and inflammation, resulting in mastitis, which is the infection of breast tissues. It is often accompanied by fever, chills, and severe breast pain.
Decreased Milk Supply
Lactation works on a demand-and-supply basis. It means that only when your breasts know that milk is in demand, they will produce more of it. The signal for demand is sent to your breasts when the baby suckles.
When you are breastfeeding newborns and they fail to latch properly, the suckling becomes inefficient. As a result, there will be a drop in your milk supply over time. Therefore, it is imperative that you consult your doctor immediately and find out why your baby isn’t drawing enough milk.
Your Baby Doesn’t Grow Well
The only source of nutrition for breastfeeding newborns is breast milk. If due to improper nursing postures, they are not feeding enough, then it is a no-brainer that it will manifest in their health.
Well-fed babies wet their diapers enough. By the time your baby is 5 days old, they should urinate 6-8 times and day and pass stool thrice or more. If you see a decreased frequency in their urination and bowel movements, take it as a sign of insufficient feeding.
In addition, babies who do not feed well fail to put on weight as desired. It is fairly common for newborns to lose some weight in the first 3-5 days. But within one or two weeks, they get back to their birth weights.
If your baby’s weight doesn’t restore within the stipulated time or they start losing weight instead of gaining the pounds, then it’s time to check with the doctor.
Once you get the cue that something is wrong with your breastfeeding posture, it’s time to act. Do not panic. There are a number of breastfeeding positions for newborns that you can try out. Every baby is different. So explore till you find the perfect one for your baby.
Besides, latching is a complex process. So seek help from your doctor and lactation expert till you are confident enough. You can also leverage organizations like La Leche League that extend help pertaining to breastfeeding in all dimensions. You can also complement your learnings with online sources which provide amazing tips on getting a spot-on latch.
This was all about the effects of wrong breastfeeding positions for newborns. If you are reading this, then must have had an insight into the signs and symptoms of poor latching due to improper nursing postures. If you notice any of them, then try a better position. Things shall get better. If they don’t, then you always have doctors and lactation experts to help you out. So, reach out to them without hesitation.