By MARIBEL GARCIA
For some women, especially those having their first baby, breastfeeding can be a daunting experience. Here are some things women can do to help meet their breastfeeding goals.
Latching is a critical part to successful breastfeeding. To help ensure successful latching, moms should remember to bring the baby toward them rather than leaning toward the baby. The baby’s nose should be directly opposite the nipple. It also helps to be in a comfortable chair and use a breastfeeding pillow.
The type of “hold” a mom uses is also important. There are many types of holds that can provide a comfortable position for proper latching – the “football hold,” the cradle hold, etc. Try multiple positions to find the best fit. Some indications of the ‘right’ hold and successful feeding include seeing the baby’s jaw moving in a circular motion and hearing swallowing.
Some women may be concerned that they aren’t producing enough milk. It’s important to remember that newborns’ stomachs are very small and they only need a little bit of milk at the start of their lives. For some women, it may take a while for milk to come in or they may not be producing enough. In those situations, a breast pump may help to increase milk production. It’s important during this time to limit pacifier and bottle usage as those nipples are shaped differently and feel different than a woman’s nipple. Another thing that might help a woman produce more milk is to take care of herself as best as she can – by eating right, drinking water and resting.
For these and any other breastfeeding issues, lactation consultants are available at Huntington Hospital. Nurses can also help during the hospital stay. Once home, feel free to call a lactation consultant or the maternity unit for advice. There are also resources such as La Leche League.
- Maribel Garcia, IBCLC, certified lactation consultant at Huntington Hospital