At our meeting at Broad Ripple Park yesterday, we talked about babywearing, returning to work, and getting a good latch. I just want to pass along some resources for you to explore in more depth about those topics.
Working and Breastfeeding
There were several new mothers at our meeting who were planning on going back to work after their babies were born. I want to encourage you all to go for it — with the right information and support, it is absolutely possible to combine working and breastfeeding. There are several experienced working/breastfeeding mothers in our Group who are available for you to ask your questions, big and small, about going back to work. You can ask questions in our private Facebook chat Group (ask a moderator for permission to join) or at any of our Group meetings.
When you are planning to go back to work and breastfeed, you can avoid common working/bresatfeeding pitfalls such as decreased milk supply by reading up ahead of time about combining work and breastfeeding. Two great places to for working/pumping info are the website Workandpump.com and the book (by the same author) Working Without Weaning. LLL’s Working Mother, Nursing Mother is also good. Both of these books are available online or in our lending library.
Our slings in our lending library are from TaylorMade Slings, Wallababy and (I think) MayaWrap. These are all nice slings, but there are many brands of baby carriers, and we did not choose these brands for any particular reason — we just accept whatever people donate to our sling library.
Here is a video that I found very helpful in getting started using my ring sling with my newborn: Ring Sling: Infant Tummy-to-Tummy, Cradle Carry, Nursing.
For more info on babywearing, visit thebabywearer.com, the #1 babywearing website. It hosts some very active forums and offers a wealth of information about choosing and using a baby carrier. If you’re already in information overload, thebabywearer might not be the place for you.
Whenever you’re babywearing, it’s a good idea to make sure you know how to baby wear safely — position your baby so his chin is off his chest and he has plenty of access to fresh air. More on Correct Positioning for Safety and Comfort [with photos] [PDF]
Getting a Good Latch
A good latch is so important — with a good latch you and your baby are both comfortable and, just as important, your baby is able to remove milk much more effectively from the breast. If you’re feeling desperate with a baby whose latch is painful, it may reassure you to know that the majority of babies eventually outgrow their bad latches and learn how to nurse comfortably and efficiently. You do not have to settle for enduring pain throughout your breastfeeding career — pain is a sign of a problem that is fixable. Here are some tricks that have helped other mothers find a good latch for their babies. With luck one or two of them will work for you and your baby.
Try Switching Positions
Have you been nursing sitting upright on the couch? If so, it may be time to try something else. A lot of mothers have an easier time finding a nice deep latch in other positions. One that is very popular is Laid-Back Breastfeeding, where you lie back comfortably and place your baby on your chest. The advantage of this position is that it supports your baby’s torso, which allows your baby to control his head enough to skootch around and find his own position that works best for him. That usually works better than you trying to find the perfect position for your baby. You can watch a video of this technique in action here: Biological Nurturing Video Clip. And laying back on the couch is way more comfortable than sitting upright nursing.
This position may not work for everyone, including obese women and women with larger breasts. I tried it with my newborn and wasn’t able to get it to work (we ended up using mostly side-lying). But Laid-back Breastfeeding is definitely worth a try.
Shore up your Latching Basics
Read On Latching by Jack Newman for some great tips for getting a good latch
Get Checked Out by an Expert
If you’re having latching difficulties, I would encourage you to get help from an expert before you reach the end of your rope. There may be some very If you’re doing everything you can to get your latch going well, and it’s still not working, don’t hesitate to get help from an expert. An LLL Leader or IBCLC lactation consultant can watch you nurse your baby and give you hints about how to improve latch and positioning. She may also be able to detect if your baby’s latch problems are the result of something other than how you’ve positioned your baby. For example, babies with tongue tie may have troubles latching in any position, and their latching problems need to be handled in a different way.
Did I leave anything out? What tricks worked for you to get a good latch?