Breastfeeding, If the baby does not latch on well, feeding is not effective. What are the correct positions? How to facilitate effective sucking? Let us try to explain it in a very practical way.
To breastfeed effectively, the baby must hold the entire areola in his mouth, and the tongue must be underneath it.
To be sure that this is the case, it is necessary to make sure that the baby’s mouth contains not only the areola but also another part of the breast because the risk, otherwise, is that trying to insert the upper part of the areola, the lower part remains outside. , which the mother, who looks from above, cannot see; if, on the other hand, the portion of the breast that enters the baby’s mouth is more abundant, you can be sure that the whole areola is inside it.
All this is essential because, for proper sucking, the nipple must be in the upper part of the mouth, and there must be enough space between the nipple and the lower lip for the tongue.
Furthermore, when we bring the baby closer to the breast, it is advisable that the nipple is at the height of his nose and not of the mouth; in this way, when the baby opens his mouth, there is no risk that the nipple will remain in the center or in the lower part and therefore the baby will not be able to insert his tongue.
Once breastfeeding is well started, infants acquire a great ability to latch on correctly and are able to breastfeed in practically any position. So, the key thing is the position of the mouth. How you put on the rest of your body is also important, but this is especially true when breastfeeding a newborn.
The baby must latch correctly to promote effective sucking but also to avoid unpleasant inconveniences to the mother, such as, for example, fissures.
What are the body positions that favor breastfeeding? There are many, but the ones listed below are the most used because they are more comfortable.
The positions of breastfeeding
In order to breastfeed properly, the baby’s whole body must be in contact with the mother, belly to belly.
This, for example, is a correct position in which the mother holds the baby’s head with one arm and holds the other hand on his little ass. The baby is then comfortably placed on a nursing pillow:
Another very comfortable position is lying in bed: a perfect solution for the night and very comfortable also during the day, as in the image that appears at the beginning of the article.
Another position, which requires a contact other than “belly to belly” but is still effective, is that of a rugby ball, that is, with the feet turned towards the back, as in this photo.
This position is especially useful immediately after cesarean delivery, when the baby’s feet can be uncomfortable bumping into the mother’s scar, or when you want to breastfeed twins in tandem.
Other tips for a correct breastfeeding position
- The baby’s neck should be straight or slightly bent back.
- If you want to support the breast while feeding, it is preferable to do it with the palm of the hand rather than holding the scissors fingers. If you really prefer the latter solution, to avoid covering the areola, you should position your fingers so that one is very far from the other.
- When breastfeeding lying down, the baby must face completely towards the mother and not just turn his head.
- If the breast is very voluminous, it may be useful to compress it a little with the fingers, always taking care not to cover the areola to ensure that the baby can take it more easily, especially in the first weeks, when the mouth is very small.
- A breastfeeding pillow can help to promote a correct position.
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