Breastfeeding, despite being a unique experience between mother and child, can bring some concerns and even anxiety in some mothers, especially in first-time mothers who still do not know how to latch on properly when breastfeeding.
The importance of breastfeeding
Breastfeeding benefits both the baby and the woman. Among its biggest gains we can highlight:
For the baby:
- Protects you against various diseases such as diarrhea and infections;
- Helps in the development of the face;
- Assists in speech development;
- Provides better breathing.
- Prevents child deaths
- Decreases risk of allergies
- Decreases the risk of hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes
- Reduces the chance of childhood obesity
- Positive effect on intelligence, better cognitive development.
- Helps in reducing postpartum bleeding;
- Reduces the chances of anemia.
- Decreases the likelihood of developing some diseases such as breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes and heart attack.
- It helps to lose weight gained during pregnancy faster.
- Prevents postpartum depression
- Promotion of the affective bond between mother and child
- Lower financial costs
Despite all these benefits, many women end up not being able to breastfeed due to pain and cracks in the breast, mainly caused by the wrong baby latching on. In addition, incorrect attachment will prevent the baby from absorbing all the nutrients from breastfeeding, as he will not be able to suck enough milk for his food.
How to latch on correctly when breastfeeding?
The correct attachment is essential so that the baby and the mother can take full advantage of the benefits of breastfeeding.
The correct grip should always be on the areola, not on the nipple. The top of the areola has to be more visible than the bottom, the baby’s lips must be in the shape of a fish and, when he sucks, the mother’s breast goes into his mouth.
Many mothers experience pain until they can find a more suitable position for the baby. First of all, it is important to reinforce that breastfeeding should not be a painful process. In addition, the correct position avoids future discomfort and is the one in which the mother feels most comfortable.
Step 1: Position of the mother
The mother must be seated and in a comfortable position. When picking up the baby, your arm should form a 90º angle.
Step 2: Position the baby
The baby’s body should be aligned with the mother’s and positioned “belly to belly”.
This attention to the baby’s posture is very important, as many women end up leaving their children with their tummy up and only turning their heads.
Step 3: Positioning the baby’s mouth
With the baby in the position indicated above, he should grab the nipple of the mother’s breast. For this, your little mouth must be in the shape of an “o”. At that moment, just bring it closer to the nipple.
To know if the handle is correct, we can pay attention to some details:
- The baby’s lips should be facing outward and his chin resting on the mother’s breast.
- The nose needs to be free, so as not to hinder your breathing.
- The baby’s cheeks should make a movement as if they are filling and emptying when sucking milk.
- The baby should have as much of the areola of the breast as possible captured.
And if the baby does not open his mouth?
One of the biggest difficulties that mothers encounter when breastfeeding is getting the baby to open his mouth correctly. If this happens, you can use the “C” Technique:
- In the breastfeeding position, position the index finger and thumb so that they form a “C”.
- With your fingers positioned like this, hold the breast and bring it close to the baby’s mouth, touching his upper and lower lip with it.
Other positions that can help to make the correct grip
- Belly with belly – This is a good variation of the more classic breastfeeding positions and which ends up being many times more comfortable for some mothers, especially when the baby is still very small. To do this position, lay the baby on your lap and place one of your hands between the baby’s legs to support him better.
- Sitting – In this position, the baby should be placed on the lap and sit comfortably on a chair or sofa. The correct position consists of placing the baby’s tummy against the mother’s, while the baby is held with both arms under her body.
- Cavalinho – The baby must sit on one of the thighs, facing the breast and the mother can hold him, supporting his back. This position is ideal for babies older than 3 months who already hold their heads well.
- Lying down – This position is very comfortable for both mother and baby, and is especially useful at night or when the mother is very tired. The breast that is closest to the mattress should be offered and, for the mother to be more comfortable, the head can be supported on the arm or on a pillow.
- Twins – Sitting, with a nursing pillow or two pillows on your lap, place one baby under one arm, with the legs facing the mother’s back and the other baby under the other arm, also with the legs facing the mother’s back. mother supporting babies head with hands.
How to find out if the grip is incorrect?
If the latch is incorrect, the baby will give some signs, such as moaning and crying. However, it is important to pay attention to some points, such as:
- The baby cannot make any sounds other than swallowing the milk.
- Dimples cannot appear on the baby’s cheek.
If you notice that the grip is incorrect, just reposition the baby. To do this, place your little finger in your mouth so that a little air gets in. Then remove the breast nipple and reposition it.
How about buying your nursing pillow cover and breastfeeding your baby in comfort?