It is a tough art to be able nurse the first days after giving birth. The picture that is drawn in our minds by others that, you give your baby your breast they start sucking easily and right away. Unfortunately, the reality is far from that. I don’t want to scare my readers so I can definitely say just after a few months, you will become an expert on nursing. But to be able to nurse correctly, you have to pay attention to certain elements.
- Latching on
It would be great if someone showed you this at the hospital. As much as you don’t know about nursing your baby, your baby knows even less about it. While you two rookies are trying to learn this vital task, accidents could happen. The most important thing is when your baby opens his or her mouth for the ni.pple that (s)he should latch on to the whole areola. When your baby is very little, this might not be possible. It is important that he or she catches the areola correctly.
- This is very important to minimize the ni.pple pain the mother might experience.
- It is very important for the baby to comfortably drink plenty of milk for the nourishment of his or her body.
The strength of baby’s sucking your ni.pples during breastfeeding is very strong. If you continue to feel extreme pain in your ni.pples during and after breastfeeding and this lasts more than 10 days, then there is definitely something wrong with the way your baby’s latching. The ni.pple pain could feel as if it’s more than birth pain. For your baby to latch on to your nipples correctly:
- Bring your baby close to your nipple when you know (s)he is hungry. If needed, touch to his nose or to the sides of his/her lips with your nipples.
- While you control your baby’s head and your baby with one hand, hold the tip of your nipple with the other hand, pressing a little if needed
- When your baby opens up his or her mouth wide enough, pull his little head to the nipple that you are holding in the other hand push the nipple with as much of the areola inside his/her mouth as possible.
You can watch the related video on babycenter.com to get visual information.
In order for this process not to be painful, at the beginning you need to control this action instead of leaving it up to the ability of your baby. Try to keep this information in your mind. Most probably once you start holding your baby after the delivery, it will be all wiped out of your mind. So, I definitely suggest that you talk to someone at the hospital.
2- Strength of sucking of your baby.
You need to follow swallowing sounds your baby is making in order to understand from her throat movements whether he or she is really drinking the milk or not.
If you don’t hear this sound but his or your baby’s cheeks move like he or she is sucking, most probably he or she is treating you like a empty bottle ni.pple and you are not achieving anything. After a while you will get to know, how much and how often milk he drinks, when breastfeeding.
3- Unlatching your baby from the breast
You can unlatch my putting your little finger in bewtween your baby’s little mouth and your nipple, this will break the suction. Do not pull baby’s head before making sure the suction is over and he is no longer latched on your nipple. If you do forget once, you will never forget again anyway.
4. Keeping the baby awake while your baby is latched on to the nipple.
A hungry baby will nurse with big swallowing and gulping sounds. Sometimes baby might get cozy and fall a sleep while breastfeeding. As I had mentioned in my previous post, it is important for the baby to finish around of breastfeeding completely without falling asleep, in order for the milk to reproduce regularly and for the baby to be nourished well.
How to keep your baby awake:
- Nursing your baby while he or she is naked (skin-to-skin)
- Talking to him/her in a louder voice
- Tapping under his little feet.
- Gently blowing at his face.
If you have any problems, consult to a lactation consultant. The solution is for an expert to see you in person, weigh your baby and help you to nurse your baby correctly. Also please refer to my post on Lactation Consultants.
Breastfeeding 101 – Amazing Mother’s Milk
Breastfeeding 102 – First experience after birth
Breastfeeding 103 – Tips for correct breastfeeding techniques
Breastfeeding 104 – Comfortable and healthy nursing positions
Breastfeeding 105 – Increasing mother’s milk supply
Breastfeeding 106 – Troubleshooting for nursing problem
Breastfeeding 107 – Storing breast milk
Breastfeeding 108 – Why does refrigerated breast milk smells sour
Breastfeeding – Other questions