Part Three of Getting Breastfeeding Established

What position you use to latch your baby on depends on your comfort level as well as the baby. If you are large breasted or had a cesarean section, it may help to begin with the football hold. This takes the pressure off your abdomen after surgery. This also enables some woman with large breasts to provide shaping and support easier and visualize the location of their nipple as it relates to the location of the baby’s mouth.
Whatever position you start with, your baby should be coming to the breast with your nipple pointing to the roof of his mouth. When he opens wide and lowers his tongue, he should come onto the breast with his chin first, rather than rotating his forehead forward which creates his nose being pushed into the breast tissue and his chin far away from the breast.
Here is a lovely video that helps mothers understand what is meant by a wide gape.
Remember – Breastfeeding should not be painful – Not on Day 1 or Day 2 or Day 3.

If breastfeeding is hurting, please call for help.
As Lactation Consultants, we are always interested in checking the latch. We know that a good and comfortable latch typically equates with pain free breastfeeding and a good milk production. A poor latch that hurts, typically equates with worsening nipple pain and less than optimal, to poor milk production.

They do say a picture is worth a thousand words. Below are some interesting pictures.
Your baby should be interested in feeding about 8 times a day from the second day of life. Your baby should increase in output. The progression of amount and color of output is:
meconiumDay 1 – 1 wet diaper and several black tarry meconium stools
Normal meconium stools… lighten up each day until….

Day 2 – 2 wet diapers and several stools which are becoming lighter in color and less sticky
Day 3 – 3 wet diapers and several stools which continue to lighten
Day 4 – An exclusively breastfed baby, who is getting enough milk, will typically have at least 4
heavy wet diapers that day and about 2-3 stools which are yellowish in color and either seedy or cottage curdy in substance.
Day 5 – Continue to wet through at least 4 diapers a day and the stools should clearly be the
yellow mustardy color you have heard and read so much about!

Please keep in mind that mother and/or baby medications and formula, can change the color and consistency of the output particularly regarding the stools.
The following samples are more than likely a sign that breastfeeding may not be going as well as it could and warrants an evaluation by an IBCLC:
1. Any continued breast or nipple pain.
2. Any lack of normal output.
3. Babies who are not waking up for at least 8 feedings a day and whose mothers are experiencing other problems with breastfeeding.
4. Weight loss of more than 10% is a warning sign that your baby is not getting enough to eat and this needs to be evaluated.

If breastfeeding is going well, most mothers will report by Day 5:
1. My breasts feel full before a feeding and soften up quite a bit when baby is done.
2. My baby cues to feed at least 8 times a day.
3. Output matches what should be normal.
4. My baby is clearly hungry before a feeding and after a good feeding, appears satiated and after some holding, burping, diaper change, is clearly content for 2-3 hours most of the time.
5. Mother is not in any pain, other than some breast tenderness as her body adjusts to the changes in milk volume.
6. If baby had lost up to 5-7 ounces, is now beginning to gain weight.
So, this is a blog after all. The information that I give here is basic breastfeeding information and certainly cannot cover all a new mother needs to know. Answers to questions about how breastfeeding is going, and is your baby getting enough cannot always be accurately answered by notes on a blog or information in a book.

newborn transitional stoolOf course, my business is as a Lactation Consultant so one might say it would be normal for me to enourage mothers to seek the help of an expert in the field of lactation. And you are right!
As a Lactation Consultant I have two major goals in mind as I wrote my business plan. The first one is to educate mothers and to do whatever I can to help and support my clients to succeed in their breastfeeding goals. My second goal is to provide a salary for myself and my family while doing work that I am passionate about.
I am part of a large network of lactation consultants who share similar goals. If you need some help with breastfeeding, reach out for professional help in your neck of the woods. You will be pleasantly surprised at how soon you can fix a problem and get on with enjoying your babymoon!