Wrong Breastfeeding Positions, Newborn: How To Avoid And Get Your Baby To Latch Properly
The first step to breastfeeding your newborn is to get into a comfortable position with them. There are a plethora of breastfeeding positions that you can explore before deciding on one. Whichever position you choose must be suitable not just for your baby but also for you.
Maintaining an uncomfortable posture throughout the breastfeeding session can make your body sore and washed over with exhaustion. So build your nursing set up cozy enough for you and your baby with loads of pillows, blankets, rolled-up towels, and other things that you would require. Make arrangements to have your back and arms supported.
When you place the baby, ensure that their head, neck, and spine align and their body and head face towards your breast. The lack of alignment will lead to extreme discomfort for the baby, preventing a good latch, an inefficient feeding session, and thus a cranky baby and worried mommy.
Time To Open That Little Mouth
When you are breastfeeding your newborn, getting all set to commence breastfeeding doesn’t guarantee their cooperation in the process. It’s a new thing for them and they don’t know what follows after getting placed in a particular position.
So you have to motivate them to open their mouth. In an ideal position, the baby’s nose lies at the level of your nipple and its lower lip is positioned around the base of your areola. Usually rubbing the nipple on the baby’s nose makes them open their mouth. A widely opened mouth is essential for a good latch.
If this trick fails, then there is yet another way of making your baby open their mouth. Squeeze your breasts to release a few drops of colostrum- the first milk, in case you are breastfeeding for the first time. This will encourage them to attempt to latch. In subsequent nursing sessions too, you can generate interest in your baby by expressing a few drops of milk.
When they finally open their mouth, bring them closer to your breast and ensure that their chin touches your breast. Do not lean over them to offer your breast. Upon latching, see that they don’t have just the nipple in their mouths. Most of the bottom of the areola and some of the top must be in their mouth too. It is because the mammary glands are situated behind the areola and are stimulated to express milk when your baby suckles your breast. If your breast is large, then you can cup your breast and shape it to make it easy for your little one to take it in their mouth.
Read The Signs
Once your baby has latched on, you need to take a few minutes to analyze the precision of the process. The first indication that it is not one of the wrong breastfeeding positions, newborn is that your nipples do not hurt or you don’t experience any kind of discomfort.
Ideally, your nipples should be sandwiched between the roof of your baby’s mouth on the top and their tongue at the bottom. Their lips should open like a flower around your nipple and areola. If you find their lips tucked, then break the latch and try again. Otherwise, it can give you really sore nipples.
One way to assure yourself that your baby is drinking milk is to see their jaw and temple moving in tandem. Besides, you can also listen to the sounds of swallowing and soft sighs of exhalation that follow swallowing. Moreover, throughout the feeding, you will feel a tugging sensation on your breast.
Break The Latch If Needed
Sometimes the latch might feel uncomfortable or painful. At other times, after suckling for a while your baby might start biting your nipple or brushing it with their tongue. As soon as you realize any of this happening, try to break the latch and reposition.
To break the suction safely, use a clean finger and insert it in the corner of their mouth. As they loosen the grip over your nipple and open their mouth wide enough, adjust them again, aiming for a better latch.
Things You Shouldn’t Ignore
We hope, you can be a little more confident while getting your baby to latch on after reading this. Following all these guidelines closely will pave the way to a near-to-perfect latch. However, there is always room for uncertainty, and getting the hang of breastfeeding definitely takes more than a night.
Therefore, always watch out for signs that are trying to convey an abnormality. One of the biggest telltale signs of a poor latch is a pain in your nipples throughout the feeding. A little soreness in the initial minutes is fine, but if it continues, you need to break the latch and check what’s wrong.
If your nipples hurt after your baby is done feeding or the skin over there is broken, compressed, or bleeding, you must immediately check with your doctor. Besides, if your baby presents signs of crankiness and unhappiness after nursing sessions and starts to lose weight, you must not delay seeking medical attention.
Sometimes, poor latching and difficulty in breastfeeding can arise due to your inverted nipples or your baby’s tight jaw, or poor muscle tone. Therefore, getting checked early brings the solution faster onto the table.
It is not very difficult to figure out the wrong breastfeeding positions, newborn. There are physical manifestations of improper positioning and latching in you and your baby. Remember that no one learns the right way on day one. Listen to your body and address the messages your baby tries to convey through their gestures. Consult a lactation expert, get in touch with new mums, and seek help whenever required. You will do just fine with time.
Meta: is your baby having latching difficulty? You have to read this today. Here’s everything you need to know about avoiding the wrong breastfeeding positions and helping your baby latch properly.
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