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Thread: In need of parental teaching
30th August 2013 08:36 PM #1
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- Aug 2013
In need of parental teaching
I have a friend who asked my help. Her baby is 2 weeks now, but her baby still does not know how to suck his mouth to her motherís breast for breastfeeding. My friend asked me but I donít know what to tell her thatís why I also seek your help so that when Iím the one who encounters that problem I would be able to solve and know what to do. I hope you can give me advice with this. Your help is much appreciated. Thanks a lot!
2nd September 2013 07:24 AM #2
Thank you for posting this question and helping to support your friend to breastfeed.
As your friend is probably already aware, breastfeeding gives great benefits to mum and baby including: reducing risk of suffering from childhood infections, reduced chance of childhood obesity, reduced risk of mum suffering from Ovarian Cancer and Breast Cancer, less colic, improved social and educational development for the child, and so the list goes on. However, although it is the most natural way of feeding your baby it often takes a while for mum and baby to get the hang of it. Being natural does not mean it is easy at first.
One of the most important factors to enable a mum to breastfeed successfully is getting the latch right. The latch is the way that the baby attaches, and is attached, to the breast. Your baby needs to get a good mouthful of breast to enable them to feed properly. If they are not latched on properly and are, for example, just sucking from the nipple then they will not be able to efficiently remove milk from the breast and it will also become very painful for the mum. Is your friend finding it painful to breastfeed? This is an indicator that the latch is not correct.
I would strongly advise your friend to seek the services of a Lactation Consultant. This specially trained individual can have a look at the latch and watch your friend breastfeeding and help her to get the latch just right. When the latch is right it is extremely likely that the baby will be able to feed successfully.
Here is a latching on checklist for your friend to check she is getting a good latch. This states that signs of a good latch are (and I quote):
- Short, chopping jaw motions to start the milk, then…
- Slow, deep, steady jaw motions, about 1 per second.
- Jaw hesitation or “hic” sound when baby swallows, usually with every 1-3 jaw strokes.
- Occasional rests or return to short strokes, followed by more deep, steady strokes
When I was getting started on my breastfeeding journey I found the videos by Dr. Jack Newman such as this excellent for helping me to learn how to help my baby to latch on properly.
These drawings by the International Breastfeeding Centre on getting a good latch are also excellent.
It is best to breastfeed your baby on demand day and night i.e. offer them the breast whenever they may want feeding. Some newborn babies feed every 2 hours and some cluster feed (i.e. take one feed followed by another) in the evenings. Breastmilk is produced on demand so if you feed your baby whenever they want milk then your body will produce all the milk that your baby needs. Less than 4% of women are not physically able to produce enough breastmilk for their baby if they feed on demand and have a good latch.
Can you give us some further details about your friend's difficulties with breastfeeding so that we can help her further?
I would also advise your friend to get in touch with her midwife/ health visitor straight away and they will also be able to help her with getting a good latch and position when breastfeeding. I would say to your friend; please, please, please do not suffer alone. There is so much help out there in the form of health professionals and support groups. I know it can be incredibly hard and upsetting when you are struggling to breastfeed your baby; lots of us need some more help and support to enable us to do this. La Leche League is a super place to start for additional support. My local breastfeeding peer support group has also been invaluable.
Dr. Seers also has some great breastfeeding resources on his attachment parenting website. Indeed, Dr. Seers writes:
'Breastfeeding does not come naturally to most breastfeeding pairs. Moms need to learn how to help their babies latch-on correctly and babies need to be taught how to suck correctly. This takes time and lots of commitment, like any worthwhile goal in life. Remember, it does get easier. Don't give up!'
Breastfeeding is wonderful for baby and mum but it takes time and, in lots of cases, extra help and support to start with. Please do let us know any extra specific information about the difficulties your friend is having. We would love to help support her further in her breastfeeding journey.
Last edited by ljmarsden; 2nd September 2013 at 07:28 AM.
2nd September 2013 07:35 PM #3
- Join Date
- Aug 2013
3rd September 2013 05:02 AM #4
You are very welcome. We want to support all women who want to breastfeed on this forum.
Please do let us know if you or your friend need any further support/ information with this.
3rd September 2013 11:32 AM #5