26 March 2012 by , No Comments

Fine tuning positioning and latching during breastfeeding techniques differ from one mother to another. Though there are parenting books which will teach and instruct you the proper ways of breastfeeding, it is strongly recommended that you try out different positions, methods, and techniques of positioning and latching your baby to start on breastfeeding.


Though there’s not one clinically-proven and scientific set of guidelines when it comes to fine tuning positioning and latching, there are some basics that you must follow so you can be sure that the experience will be a pleasant one for both you and your newborn.


•When breastfeeding, assume a position that is comfortable for you and your baby. There are mothers who will provide you with what position or holding technique best suited them. Accept these suggestions and try them out. If their methods worked for you, then chances are you probably have the same body frame and form.


There are also some expert advices in fine tuning positioning which will not work for you. This is natural since not all post-partum mothers have the same frame and size. It doesn’t mean that their techniques aren’t effective, it just means that I can be ideal for some people but not for every post-partum breastfeeding mother.


•Consider your comfort level when fine tuning positioning and latching.  This should be one of your primary concerns when finding what is the most ideal position and latching style for you to assume when it’s time to breastfeed your baby. Always consider your comfort level when you’re preparing your child into a feeding position. If you are comfortable with a certain position, encourage your baby to latch and feed at that position. If you see that your newborn is struggling in feeding in your comfortable position, try modifying it slowly.


Continuously feed your newborn while making inches of adjustments in your position. In this way, you are not interrupting your baby feeding. If you feel that your baby is already at a comfortable latching condition and at the same time you feel that a certain position is comfortable to you stay on that position until your baby detaches his or her mouth from your areola.


•Once you’ve already found your ideal positioning, move on to the latching technique for your baby. When it comes to latching it should be comfortable for both you and the baby. But always prioritize the comfort level and the amount of milk that you’re newborn can receive from you in a certain latching position. Your comfort level is secondary to your newborn’s comfort and feeding needs. But again, you can always fine tune positioning so that latching can be easy and comfortable for you and your newborn baby.


•Latching has a specific technique. Unlike positioning where you need to find and adjust according to you and your baby’s comfort level, you need to abide by certain rules and principles which make latching easier to accomplish so that your baby can feed from you right away.


•Do not attempt to latch a baby when he or she is crying. Crying is one of the many signs that your newborn wants to take a sip of milk from you. Never force your breast into the mouth of your newborn child. You need to pacify your crying newborn first before you attempt to do the proper latching technique.


Once your baby stops crying, try to stoke the both the side of her cheeks. This will stimulate your newborn to open the mouth. Ideally, when this happens, you need to slowly but surely raise your baby to your breast area. A newborn doesn’t have that much muscular strength in her neck and head area, so you need to facilitate the feeding for him or her.


•Once your breast is in contact with the lips of your baby’s breast lower down his head a bit so the newborn tongue will sit on the floor of the mouth. In this manner, you wouldn’t have a hard time on inserting your areola inside your newborn’s mouth. Your areola should be positioned well inside a newborns mouth just before the throat area.


•Remember that when your newborn is securely latch, they don’t suck on your milk, but their mouth, tongue, and palate do a massage-like motion, which in turn stimulates your breast to produce a continuous flow of milk. The sucking reflex will eventually develop after a couple of weeks and this might be a little bit unpleasant to the mother.


The sucking reflex of your newborn might feel uncomfortable in the first few minutes if breastfeeding. This might be due to the fact that they might really be hungry during the first few minutes of feeding. It will slowly disappear when they’ve satisfied their hunger and will return feel more comfortable for you until the end of the feeding session.


•It is recommended to feed your newborn every 2 to 3 hours so you can ensure that they’re getting the right amount of nourishment through your breast milk. However, do not wait until they become irritable and restless to feed them. You’ll have a hard time pacifying and feeding them when you still wait on them to become really hungry before you breastfeed.


•Assess your breast after breastfeeding. Check if your breast and areola are oddly shaped in any way. The shape of your areola and the surrounding breast tissue should be round and a little bit elongated-much like the shape of the interior of your newborn’s mouth. But if in any case the areola seems flattened and the surrounding tissue feels a little bit sore, this might mean that your latching technique is ineffective for both you and your baby.


It will take you a few weeks to get fine tune positioning and latching right. Practice and assume different recommended positions and techniques and stick with those techniques when you’re breastfeeding. This just means that you have established the most suitable and comfortable position for you and your baby when it’s time for breastfeeding without compromising the amount of milk being taken in by your baby during feeding.


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