I had a patient a couple of weeks ago who had a problem with her infants latch. So I thought since I find this a lot in my practice that I would share some little hints that could make a difference in breast feeding, which could have helped me before I had my first baby.
- Nothing in the baby’s mouth for the first 6 six weeks but mother’s breast. This helps with nipple confusion, although some people do not believe that an infant can confuse a plastic nipple and mother’s skin. I do not know, but what I will tell you it that practice makes perfect. The more your baby latches on correctly the better, quicker and easier it will be to the point that mom will not have to do anything. My little girl, would latch herself on in the middle of the night whether it was in the right place or not she just wanted to suck.
- Babies will suck what you give them. If you area mom to be look at your nipples if they stick out all of the time great if they are flat or inverted you might want to talk to your OB about what you can do, find a lactation consultant, La Leche League group in your area. There are nipple shields that can work there is also a product by Phillips Advent Niplette that might be useful. What I used was a breast pump after my baby was born, do not use this before your baby comes or you are 39 weeks because it can bring on labor.
- Know and understand the feeding policy at the hospital that you plan on delivering at different hospitals have different policies. My current hospital gives infants d5w or Dextros 5% in water (sugar water) then a bottle or breast milk, but if asked the infant can breast feed right after birth if the infant and mother are stable except in the case of c-sections those infants are monitored closely for the first 6 hours of life so the first two to three feedings are determined by the nurse caring for the infant. As a mother who breast fed, I will facilitate breast feeding as soon as mother is back from the OR. If you as the mother want to breast feed ask the nurse to bring your infant to you as soon as you can to nurse.
Biggest hint is to educate yourself about breast feeding before you deliver. Ask friends who have breast fed, your OB, the nursing staff at the hospital you plan to delive, or the La Leche League.