We support women no matter how they choose to feed their babies. It’s interesting to note that about 80% of women initiate breastfeeding in the US. Although breastfeeding is natures way to feed a baby, it doesn’t always come naturally to every mother and baby pair. For those who wish to succeed at breastfeeding here are some things to keep in mind:
1. When in doubt do some skin to skin with your baby to reset.
Skin to skin means that your baby is unclothed (diaper is okay) and resting directly on your skin usually on your chest and abdominal area. This allows the baby to hear your heartbeat, smell your odor and achieve a calm state. Babies have a keen sense of smell and are very receptive to their mothers’ odor.
Skin to skin influences the baby’s state and her motor system modulation. It’s not just for after birth. Even after days or weeks of latch on problems, skin-to-skin has been found to shorten the time it takes to resolve issues. When breastfeeding isn’t going well, skin to skin can facilitate latching your baby. If she is unsettled and you are having a hard time, take a moment to do a reset with skin-to-skin. When she is ready try again.
2. Pain is not normal.
It may be common, but it’s not normal. If you are experiencing pain this is a sign that something is not right. Often times a small adjustment needs to be made in how your baby is latching on which can resolve the issue. Do not carry on suffering with pain. Ask for help. Breastfeeding can work without pain.
3. Support makes a difference.
You and your baby are learning something that is brand new to both of you. Just like learning to ride a bike, it may feel overwhelming in the beginning. But eventually it can be as easy as getting on the bike and riding away without any thought about the small details of balancing and steering at the same time.
Women with a good support system women have more success. If you are struggling at all seek assistance. We have certified lactation counselors here at Buddha Belly that are trained to assess and make suggestions to help you. There are also resources in the community such as La Leche League and mothering/breastfeeding support circles. Contact us for referrals to some of our favorite support groups. Avail yourself of these resources. You won’t regret it.