Help your baby latch cor­rectly

Mother & Baby - - CONTENTS -

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.

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