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GENDER CONCERNS

Breastfeeding Blues

"Improper latch and positioning of the baby"
By: Megg Murff TrinidadBreastfeeding Blues

Many breastfeeding problems can be solved when Mom is able to correctly latch her baby’s mouth to her breast and when the rest of the baby’s body is positioned properly. 

What is a correct latch? The baby’s mouth should be opened very wide (almost yawning) and should attach onto the areola (the dark area surrounding the nipple) because that is where the milk ducts are. If the baby’s mouth is not open wide enough, he will end up sucking on the nipple—and that is very painful. Also, look closely at the baby’s lips. The lips are opening outwards, similar to a fish’s lips. A breastfeeding mom will know her baby’s latch is correct when she is comfortable while her baby sucks. The incorrect latch will literally make a mom wince or cry out in pain. 

Another important thing to check is how the baby is positioned while nursing. When a baby is positioned incorrectly, he can inadvertently pull on his mommy’s nipple.  Or, Mommy will be hunched over to nurse her baby. Very uncomfortable! In the correct position, Mommy and her baby should be “tummy to tummy.” 

In the first few days of nursing, it is actually normal for a Mom to experience a bit of discomfort.  But it should not be the kind that makes the mom cry. After a few days of nursing and one gets sore nipples, it is ideal that she reviews her baby’s latch and positioning when nursing. The mother can also look for a breastfeeding counselor who can visit her at home and help her and her baby. 

Once the baby’s latch and positioning have been corrected, the soreness (and cracks!) in the nipples may still be felt for the next few days as the nipples heal. What the mother can do is to air dry her nipples (in the privacy of her room) after each feeding. She can also wear soft shirts that don’t rub against her sore nipples. If really needed, she can consult her doctor for breastfeeding-friendly pain relievers.

Read more:
Breastfeeding Blues 2
Breastfeeding blues 3
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