Breastfeeding newborns is a beautiful experience that fills you with maternal love and warmth. However, getting your child to latch on right away isn’t easy. First-time moms may find it extremely frustrating when they cannot comfortably nurse their children, especially with fluctuating hormones postpartum.
While breastfeeding is natural for mothers, there may be some difficulties at first. So, if you struggle with nursing your baby, don’t worry. Take it easy on yourself, and eventually, you’ll learn. Here are some tips to help you on your way:
When Should You Be Alarmed
As you breastfeed your child, you can spot certain signs of your baby’s health.
A child latches on with a specific intensity and pressure that stimulates you to produce milk. When an infant cannot do that, it usually indicates an underlying condition.
Breastfeeding sessions usually last no more than ten minutes. If your child stops sucking in less than a minute or stays latched on due to weak suction, you must call a doctor immediately. Your baby may be dealing with a birth injury that makes nursing difficult.
A motor disability like cerebral palsy weakens your child’s muscles, which may cause their arms and legs to shake, making it impossible for them to breastfeed. Get help and call a medical specialist to intervene, physically examine your child, and guide you on your next move.
The thought of your child getting wounded or hurt during delivery is difficult to fathom; however, seeking appropriate medical attention is essential. Platforms like www.childbirthinjuries.com canalso help you there; by visiting this online resource, you can learn more about common birth injuries and how they impact your infant. As a result, you can identify the most effective avenues to help your child.
How Do You Start Nursing?
Once the nurse places your baby on you, try to initiate the process. Breastfeeding is about finding the correct position and allowing your child to nurse comfortably, so here’s how you do this:
1. Find The Right Position To Hold Your Child
Babies need to be adequately cradled so that they can latch on to your nipple with no trouble. Their heads need support since their neck muscles are not strong enough to hold them upright.
There are numerous positions you can try out as you hold your baby. Once you find the most comfortable place to support your infant, maintain that pose. You can use the traditional method of putting your baby’s head in your arm’s crook, bringing them as close to your breast as possible.
Alternatively, you can also try lying on your side with your baby. This allows your child to latch on while lying on the bed. There is also the clutch hold, in which you tuck your baby’s legs under your arms and cradle them to your chest. Using the same hand, support your baby’s hand, and cup your breast with the other.
You can try multiple positions until you find the one most comfortable for you.
2. Make Sure Your Baby Is Awake While Feeding
Babies tend to doze off when they’re in the middle of nursing. This is not uncommon, as newborns need copious amounts of sleep and can rest up to 12 hours daily. However, if your child falls asleep while latching, you need to wake them up. Falling asleep while feeding is unhelpful for babies. The lack of milk will not only make them hungry, but it will also cause developmental issues leading to stunted growth.
To prevent them from falling asleep while nursing, don’t be afraid to move around. You can switch sides, walk around, and burp the baby to keep them alert. Whenever they seem sleepy, gently unlatch them or gently blow air on their foreheads or cheeks (be careful not to blow directly on her face).
3. Ask For Help When Needed
Sometimes, no matter what you do, your baby may still struggle to latch on. You may have tried different positions and methods, but your baby still struggles to breastfeed. The only remedy for this situation is to talk to a lactation consultant.
Lactation experts can identify the source of your problem and offer practical advice for nursing. For instance, if you have a blocked duct, a consultant may help eliminate the obstruction, allowing your milk to flow again.
You can ask for help as often as you need, and don’t hesitate to continue your consultation sessions when you face another roadblock.
4. Don’t Breastfeed On A Schedule
It is impossible to schedule newborns’ feeding; they need a constant supply of milk throughout the day and sometimes at odd hours of the night.
In the first few nursing sessions, your baby will probably not need too much milk. This is not unusual since it takes time for a baby’s appetite to settle in. But your child may usually start nursing on the second to the third day. Initially, your child may try to cluster feed. They may take small amounts of time over a short period, while at other times, they may reject you altogether. You should not feel irritated if this occurs.
Your baby is adjusting to you as much as you are adjusting to them, so finding the right temperature takes time. If your child is refusing milk, try to get them to feed. If the problem persists, you may need to take them in for a check-up. Generally, a newborn baby needs about twelve feedings in a day, which means you may have to feed your child every two to three hours.
Furthermore, milk production takes time. The more your child feeds, the more oxytocin flows through your blood, stimulating more milk to release. But there are instances when your body cannot keep up with your child’s demands. You can rely on formula feed or ask for donor breast milk in those cases.
Nursing your child is a beautiful way to bond and connect with them. This natural process is a part of motherhood, yet nursing is not easy to do despite its significance. But with the right help and guidance, you can soon learn how to breastfeed with no problem. There are many reasons why your baby may find it difficult to breastfeed. If they have a birth injury that weakens their muscles, it can interfere with suction. Likewise, it may be easier to feed your child if you shift your baby into the correct position, making it easy for them to latch on to you.
Therefore, speak to a lactation consultant when you feel you’re unable to nurse your child adequately, and also pick up on ways you can keep your child away if they doze off mid-feed. Lastly, as eager as you may be to establish a routine, ensure you feed your child frequently without limiting yourself to a schedule. This will encourage your child to develop a healthy appetite.