HOW TO ENSURE YOUR BABY LATCHES WELL
Help your baby latch correctly
All babies have primitive reflexes to crawl on to their mothers’ breasts to find the nipple and latch and feed. This process is natural and an inherent competency of every baby, but it requires a little help. However, this process may seem like it needs expert intervention and support, owing to an unsupported birth or the right guidance required for breastfeeding, during the early days after birth.
The right start
Providing a safe and gentle birth is perhaps the biggest factor to get breastfeeding to a great start. This means, a non-mediated or natural birth, and ensuring the baby is taken to the breast almost immediately. There needs to be no separation between mother and baby. It is perhaps best to allow the mother and baby to find an intuitive bonding space, which is ideal for the natural responses to emerge and begin, establishing a frequent feeding rhythm. This allows the baby to be guided by the smell, touch, and skin-to-skin contact, along with maintaining that eye contact with the mother. This is a great way to establish the feed and sleep cycle.
Basic guidelines to encourage a new mom ●
Position and latch is an interactive process so allowing a mother to first get comfortable is very important. Each mother and baby has a unique relationship so allow them to find their own way. Every baby needs to be supported for structural stability to be able to latch comfortably so provide the necessary support by way of nursing pillows, to help bolster the process. Apart from regular breastfeeding positions there are innumerable creative positions that are therapeutic in nature and can be a great help to unique or challenging breastfeeding situations. The most natural position, and possibly the first one used to help a new mother and baby elicit this rhythmic behaviour, is called the laid-back breastfeeding position or reclined breastfeeding position. This chest-to-chest and skin-to-skin contact, helps a baby self-attach to its mother’s breast.