Breastfeeding: Three tips for a good latch.
See those chubby cheeks? That’s all from some good ol’ fashion breastmilk. My babies may be born small, but they do not stay that way for long.
There are certain keys to successful breastfeeding, but to me, the most important is support. Not that anyone can do anything for you physically, but getting the emotional support from those around you is vital. I receive tons of support from my family and co-workers. My husband, knowing that it is not only the best for our babies, but is also a huge money saver, is my biggest cheerleader. Come to think of it, it may also have something to do with him not losing any sleep at night, too. Hmm.
Also, I come from a long line of breastfeeding women, so not breastfeeding wasn’t really an option for me. So when my son, now 2 1/2, refused to latch on I was panicked. I spent hours upon hours trying to get him to latch on. He was screaming, I was crying, I think my husband was just scared, and it was not this spirtual, bonding experience that people talk about. But since formula wasn’t an option, I pumped and pumped and pumped for a year. Looking back, I don’t know how I did it. And there’s no way I could have done it if I had other children at the time. Even though it wasn’t the best experience, I look back with a sense of accomplishement for keeping at it.
BUT, I did not want to go through that again.
So, I did a little research and tracked down where, I believe, I went wrong to avoid going through that again….
After he was born, they handed him to me for a couple of minutes, then whisked him off to be cleaned, weighed, etc. – ERROR
This time, I requested having skin-on-skin contact as soon as she was born (pending no complications) for as long as I could…I think it was about 20 minutes or so. After they did what they needed to do, my husband got a quick hold, then she was back on my chest.
NO FOREIGN OBJECTS
With my son, the nurse handed me a nipple guard, so the first thing in his mouth was plastic. -ERROR
This time, I requested for the nursery to not give her a pacifier, and continued this for the first four weeks.
KEEP THE BABY WITH YOU
I got a lot of advice about letting him go into the nursery so I could get some rest while in the hospital -ERROR
This time, I kept her in the room with me and basically stripped us both down 24/7 to keep the skin-on-skin contact going. I kept her on my chest and laid a blanket over her and offered my breast as often and as long as she would take it. At 4 weeks, after I felt confident about her latch, I started letting her have a bottle.
Ironically, she’s terrible at it, but I’ll take it.