Getting baby latched
There is so much emphasis placed on getting a good latch when breastfeeding. A good latch will help avoid nipple pain and breakdown, lead to more efficient milk removal and an overall good milk supply. It is important! But what happens when, despite great technique and positioning, baby won’t latch? There are more obvious reasons why certain babies may take a little longer to get the hang of it. For example: prematurity, a difficult delivery, or an oral abnormality to name a few. Other times, it can take a full-term healthy baby a little longer to catch on for seemingly no reason at all! I make sure to teach Moms in my classes what to do when baby won’t latch. This way, if it ends up happening, they are calm and prepared instead of panicked!
If baby won’t latch, it is still important to get them needed calories. After several hours without a good feed, nursing staff will check blood glucose levels. If those levels drop low enough, it may even mean admittance to the special care nursery or NICU. Many times when blood sugar is low the first suggestion is formula supplementation with a bottle. We know from research that early formula supplementation puts you at a higher risk for early weaning. From my experience, I’ve found that introducing a bottle early on amidst latching problems only makes things worse. Here’s an alternative that is low-tech, requires little equipment, and works very well to deliver needed calories without the use of a bottle.
Using hand expression to collect colostrum in a spoon
Delivering expressed colostrum via a spoon
Sometimes, offering a few drops of colostrum on a spoon is enough to coat babies tongue, and stimulate them to latch on. Other times it may take several feeds of delivering the colostrum this way, coupled with frequent attempts at the bare breast to get a good latch.
Latching baby to breast
I hope this helps! One Mom told me, “I’m so glad I took your class! It took several days for my baby to latch on properly. The whole time I was relaxed and prepared because I knew how to feed my baby in the meantime while keeping my goal of exclusive breastfeeding in mind.” ~ Maddie
I’m here to help you reach your goals, whatever they may be! I’m here to provide all the research and options, but I’m a firm believer that “Mama Knows Best”. I love when Moms tell me that my classes helped them have a good breastfeeding experience. Breastfeeding Basics is available online. The video courses come with an outline for note-taking. They also never expire and can be watched over and over! Come say hi on instagram today! The nursing pillow I use in my consultations is from Ergobaby and the photography in this post is by Lizzy Jean Photography.
I’ve created this great e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.
Thanks for coming by today,
~ Lindsey, RN, IBCLC