Breastfeeding 101

  • Share:
-I'm Leigh Anne O'Connor, international board-certified lactation consultant, and a mother of three children. I've been working with breastfeeding families for about 12 years. And today, I'm gonna be helping you and Tora with her baby, Felix, on going over some breastfeeding basics. Breastfeeding is normal, but sometimes it takes little learning between mom and baby. So, we're gonna go over some of the basics of latching and positioning, and what to look for to make sure the breastfeeding is going well. Hi. So, one of my favorite things for a mom and baby, when they're first starting out, is to make sure that the mom is completely comfortable. You wanna make sure that you're comfortable, that you're like royalty, that you're sitting back, making yourself comfortable, that you're not holding tension in your body. And then, you wanna bring the baby really close to you, nice and belly to belly. Just before the baby attaches, if you make sure he's nice and close to you, and you line his eyes up with your nipple. Is it-- yeah. It seems like Felix is more interested in maybe trying the other side. -He's flimsy. I think-- There. Yeah. He's more like that. -Okay. Okay. So, he likes to sit up better. -Yeah. -Okay. All right. -Well. -What's nice is that there's certain principles when you're attaching the baby that you want the baby nice and close to you. And we can see that Felix is a baby that likes to sit up a little more than other babies. There's not one particular hold that works well. Right now, we have the 'Tora and Felix' hold, nice position. The idea is that the baby is nice and close to you and that his head, it has the freedom to tilt back, and that he's got a nice, big mouthful of breast. So, you don't wanna push in the baby's head. You know, if you're taking a drink of water, and somebody is pushing your head forward, that's gonna make you uncomfortable. So, it would make the baby uncomfortable. That would also make the latch shallow and make your nipples very sore. So, you wanna have the baby across your body in a way that his eyes are at your nipple, and you wanna bring that baby nice and close to you, and have a nice attachment. So, you can see that's he's very happy and content. He's growing beautifully. One of the big questions that moms always have is "How do I know my baby's getting enough?" What you look at is that the fact that what goes in comes out. You look at the baby's diaper count. So, a baby who's a few days old will have three to five poopy diapers-- nice, mustard color-- and four to six wet diapers. We wanna look for a baby who's content, who has feedings that end in satisfaction. It's normal for babies to have anywhere from 8 to 12 feedings a day. A lot of people kinda do that mathematically and come up with this every two to three hours. But what's important to know is sometimes, it's not done so evenly and mathematically. Often, a baby will do what's called cluster feedings-- the baby will have several feedings in a row. One of the bonuses with that is that there will be a longer stretch of sleep if you've got that. And that's a great opportunity for you, as a new mom, to get your rest. Nap when the baby naps. One of the biggest complains that a lot of moms, who are breastfeeding in the beginning, have is sore nipples. So, if you've got a nice attachment and a baby nice and a big full-- mouthful of breast, that should remedy most sore nipple problems. Sometimes, it takes a couple of days to get into a nice rhythm of it. But if sore nipples persist, you might wanna see a lactation consultant. A very common reason for sore nipples, when all else is going, is a tongue-tie. Tongue-tie is quite a common problem. It's the little attachment, the frenulum under the tongue that's just a little too restrictive. For some mothers, that can make for a very uncomfortable and inefficient feeding. So, that's an easily resolved problem. Once breastfeeding is established, some mothers will choose to express milk if they're gonna be returning to work or having any period away from their baby. A good time to start pumping is once the breastfeeding feels good, once you know that it's working, once you feel comfortable, that the baby is growing appropriately. And everybody around you, you and your baby and everybody around, know that it's working well. That's the time to start practicing. Typically, you would wanna pump during separation period. Well, if a mother's working, she would pump at work and bring home the milk to her baby. She doesn't need to have like gads and gads of milk in her refrigerator or freezer. And then, breastfeeding her baby directly at the breast-- that's gonna keep the milk production going up. It's gonna keep the breastfeeding relationship going for as long as it needs to go. -He makes noise. -Yeah. I see. Felix is a little bit of a-- of a slurper here. It sounds like he's got a little bit of a click. 'Cause it seems like that happens during a let down. A let down is when there's a stronger release of milk during the feeding. Yeah. You notice that? So, one of the things that you can do is think of anti-gravity hold. It seems like that's one of the reasons that Felix likes to sort of sit up in his own way. Making sure that you're nice and back so that we're working against gravity. If you can lay down and nurse your baby side by side, that's a beautiful anti-gravity feeding method. Often, when you change from one side to the next, the baby will naturally sort of fall off after a feeding or maybe fall asleep a little bit. And that would be a nice time to try to give a burp. Some breastfed babies don't burp near as much as their bottlefed counterparts. But it's-- in the beginning, you kind of figure out if you have a burping baby or not a burping baby. It's always nice to give them a little bit of a try in between feedings. Breastfeeding is a learned behavior between you and your baby. It may take a few days before you get into a nice rhythm. If it's not going well, then that's the time to seek the help of an international board-certified lactation consultant.