Nursing Know-How

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-Hi, I'm Anne Ebeling and you're watching Parents TV. Now, breastfeeding may be perfectly natural but it doesn't always come naturally. So, we turn to experts to get advice on everything from breast pumps to getting a good latch. It's true. Women have been nursing babies since the beginning of mankind. But don't feel bad if you're having trouble. -Women feel like, 'Wow,' you know. 'Women have been doing this for eons. What's wrong with me that I don't know what to do?' And so, they feel inadequate, they feel stupid. And the truth is that while women have been doing this for eons, the women back eons ago saw women nursing babies their whole lives. -Lactation consultant, Beverly Solow, helps women ease their nursing woes. -Women usually call me for a couple of reasons. Either they're in pain or they're worried that their babies aren't getting enough to eat at the breast. Or they're anxious, or they just want reassurance. -She says successful nursing means mastering certain techniques. -They need to know positioning and latch-on technique, and they need to know how to know their babies are getting enough. And unfortunately, they're often told some variation of 10 minutes on each breast, and that's not enough information. -Beverly says women need to watch their babies rather than watching the clock. -Mothers need to be instructed more clearly on how to read their baby's cues; on how to know when they're hungry, on how to know when they're swallowing. They need to be told the difference between sucking and swallowing. They need to know how to recognize when their babies are feeding effectively and when they're not. -And getting the baby fed means getting a good latch. -The baby does the work of breastfeeding mostly with the tongue, supported by the jaw. So, you want the baby to have more breast in his or her mouth near that time. In order to get that, the baby needs to be positioned in a certain way. And this is where you want to start, with the baby's head slightly tilted back and it kinda looks like the nipple's actually gonna go up the baby's nose. You touch the baby's lower lip right around the edge of the areola, and then, push the baby on, chin first. So, the nipple just clears the baby's top lip. So, it's a little counterintuitive and I find that a picture really helps to explain this approach. -If you're still having trouble, use a breast pump to supplement feeding. -It's appropriate to use a breast pump as soon as you need to supplement the baby because some babies really do need to be supplemented very early on if they're- if they're losing weight rapidly. So, for every ounce of formula that a baby is given, that's an ounce of breast milk he's not taking from the breast. And when a baby leaves milk in the breast, that's telling the breast to make less milk. -Felina Rakowski-Gallagher is the owner of New York City breastfeeding boutique, the Upper Breast Side. She says access to a hospital-grade breast pump is something mothers should look into even before the baby is born. -The hospital-grade breast pump is different from the pumps that are generally sold. A familiar pump is something called the Medela company style. This pump has to work super hard and may not attain the same results that pumping on this one does. So, as my father always said, "If you buy quality, then you don't have to buy quantity." So, these 2 pieces come together and they form the breast shield, breast shield and the connector. These 2 pieces which are the most frequently replaced parts because this goes down the drain when you're washing it, and this one develop little cracks on it from use or stepping on it. This has to be separated and when it's put together, sometimes, it's like this. If it's like this, the pump won't work. It has to be totally flat. This goes on here and then, the last thing is, the bottle goes on. And you now have a complete breast shield ready to put on to the breast pump, whether it's this one or this one, and a woman's nipple would enter this funnel part here. -Felina also recommends buying a few nursing bras before the baby comes. -Honestly, I think that maternity bras are a waste of money because when you're pregnant, if you buy a bigger bra and it's a maternity bra or just a regular bra, you can't use it at- when the baby is born. If you buy a nursing bra as your size increases, then think of the chart. You have to buy a bigger bra and then, you have to buy another bigger bra and through the 9 months, maybe you've gotten a few. Now, you have the baby, your breast may explode into another hemisphere and then, as they come down, what do you do? You wish that those bras that you bought that are bigger than what you were before were nursing bras. -When nursing, it's important to relax. And a nursing [unk] like this one may help you and your baby go with the flow. -It's giving me support on my back, on my lower back. And now, the baby is at the breast. I've got the baby tucked in. I have a little pocket with tissues, water, a telephone, the TV clicker, and I'm really comfortable. -And relaxed. -And I'm relaxed. And when I'm relaxed that means that the nursing is probably going much better. -But in the end, both women say, all you really need to breastfeed are your breasts and your baby. -Thank you for watching Parents TV: Our families, our lives.