Breastfeeding even under the best of circumstances can present challenges, as both mother and baby are learning what to do. Yet, breastfeeding is well worth the effort it takes to overcome hurdles you encounter. Your baby receives important nutritional, immunological, and developmental benefits, and both of you get to enjoy the special closeness of a nursing mother and baby. Here are some common breastfeeding problems mothers experience, and the solutions our personal and professional experience has taught us.
How can I get my baby to latch on properly?
In our experience, the most common breastfeeding obstacle is improper latch-on. A baby who does not take the breast correctly will not get as much milk and will probably give his mother sore nipples. Here's what we tell mothers:
First, position yourself correctly. Milk flows better from a relaxed mother, and it's easier to breastfeed your baby if your arms, back, and shoulders are well-supported. Prepare a nursing station in your favorite room with a comfortable chair, plenty of pillows for support, and peace and quiet or soothing music. After you've prepared your body to breastfeed, prepare your mind. Take a few relaxing breaths and imagine your nourishing milk flowing from your breasts into your baby. Help your infant to relax, too. If she's crying, rock and sing to her until she quiets down. If she's sleepy, gently bring her body into a sitting position while saying her name. Babies latch on best when they are in a quiet, yet alert, state.