As GBSN have not been able to run the groups for almost six months, we are having some update training sessions from the Breastfeeding Counsellors.
This week we are looking at attachment and positioning, as we are all aware this is one of the most important parts of your breastfeeding journey.
So as I have been reading up I thought I would share with you.
Let’s start at the beginning with how we hold our babies, the age-old hold is tummy to tummy with the baby’s nose resting next to the nipple. This is a good starting point, you could also use the biological nurturing position of being laid back with your baby on your chest.
When latching your baby on the head should be nice and free, so they can help move into the right position.
When tummy to tummy, hold your baby around their neck giving your baby the opportunity to tilt their head.
Nose should be close to your nipple so they can smell your milk. The bottom lip should be resting on your breast, and the top lip brushing the nipple.
Next you need your baby to open its mouth as wide as possible (like a large yawn) with the baby’s tongue sticking out.
When this happens you can push your baby on to the nipple, with a mouth full of breast tissue, and the nose clear.
A good sign of a great latch and positioning are a large mouthful of breast, chin touching the breast underneath, no pain on the nipple, and nice long sucks, with swallowing in between. You know your baby has had a good latch because they will drop off when they are finished, in a milk drunk state.
Other great signs of a good attachment and positioning are weight gain after two weeks from birth. It’s not unusual for babies to lose weight to start with, but within two weeks you would want your baby to start gaining weight.
And obviously there should be plenty of wet nappies – again during those first few days you may only get two to three wet nappies, then up to six after the first 48 hours.
In the first week your baby should poo two times in the first three days, and this will look like tar, this is called the meconium. After the 3rd day you would expect greenish poos, and by the end of the first week they should look like mustard.
If this is not happening your baby is not getting enough milk to flush their system out.
UNICEF have a great online leaflet on the benefits of breastfeeding, with some lovely pictures showing how the latch should look.
Starting your breastfeeding journey well will mean you are more like to succeed in breastfeeding your baby. There are so many positives to this. For the baby they are receiving the perfect milk for them full of nutrients and immune busting goodness.
For the mother it is a great way to help protect yourself from ovarian and breast cancer in the long run.
It is also free, whereas formula is likely to cost you about fifty pounds a month!!
I know partners often feel a bit left out at the beginning as they are unable to feed the baby. but at this early stage they take a big role in the success of breastfeeding. With the right support at home you are more likely to breastfeed your baby.
Your partner can still bond with the baby through lots of cuddles, bathing them and helping mum with the household and the other children if you have more than one.
If you’re not feeling like you have a good latch, why not book a 1-2-1 session with one of our Breastfeeding Counsellors?