Assist First-Time Moms with Breastfeeding

Edited by Olivia, Eng, Lynn, estrella sacragon and 3 others


First time mothers often have difficulty in accomplishing effective breastfeeding. This is because they have limited knowledge about it. The key is empowering them with the right techniques of breastfeeding.

Basically, the woman is observed for 24 hours after a normal delivery and after about two weeks post-Caesarian section. It is in the initial hours that the mother wakes up in the recovery room or ward that she receives instructions on how to breastfeed her child.

Prerequisites in Assisting a Woman to Breastfeed

Though the woman may have received instructions on breastfeeding, indicated agreement and understanding on how it is accomplished, she may want to continue resting before deciding to do so. The baby may also be in the observation room, sleeping or being examined by the pediatrician. Another instance is that the woman may be experiencing the so-called "baby blues." Baby blues are observable signs that a woman exhibits right after delivery. She may be moody and cry a lot or be irritable. There may be an underlying cause and this will need an allied health professional's help to address.

Signs That a Mother Requires Assistance in Breastfeeding Her Infant

The baby's mouth is secured on the mother's nipple alone

This situation is called poor attachment.

Oliviabacayao Poor Attachment.jpg

When this happens, the mother's nipple will become sore. When it becomes sore, it will be too painful to offer it to the child for feeding. In addition, the way that the baby's mouth is locked on the mother's nipple impedes proper flow of breast milk.

Baby continuously cries

As a result of the above mentioned way the baby's mouth latches on her mother's nipple,

Oliviabacayao Too Much Crying.jpg

she will take longer to get satisfied. This is all the more frustrating for both the mother and the baby. The baby's cry is usually because of non-satisfaction of his hunger and gas. Poor attachment of the baby's mouth on his mother's breast will get him more air than intended.

Good attachment

Oliviabacayao Good Attachment.jpg

It is best when you see that the baby's mouth is enclosed on both the nipple and the areola. This way, a part of the milk sacs are latched on by the baby's mouth, resulting in a better flow of milk, and this further stimulates milk production.

The mother's face and body is turned away from the newborn, while the baby's head is twisted

This position does not promote eye and body contact, which is one way to promote the mother-child bond.

Oliviabacayao Detached Mother.jpg

It also indicates disinterest and uncaring behavior. This may or may not be caused by underlying marital or familial issues. However, it is always prudent to take caution in addressing the matter. It would be best to demonstrate the proper way and observe if the situation persists before referring the issue to a counselor or another professional.

Eye-to-eye and body contact promotes the bond between mother and child. A newborn baby is like a clean piece of paper where you write with a permanent-ink pen. The way in which the newborn is dealt with from the time he is born until he's able to fend for himself is stored in the subconscious mind. It is postulated that some personality disorders root from an unsuccessful mother-child bond during infancy.

Ever wonder why little children cry when they see their parents leave, especially the mother? It is not because they are the parents, but because there is that bond that was formed and the child thinks he may not be able to see them after. To the child, his parents mean security and comfort.

If the woman's hand holds her breast too near the nipple when offering her breast to feed the baby, this leads to poor attachment as discussed above. Her fingers should rest on her chest in such a way that her hand forms a support at the base of her breast.

Assisting with Breastfeeding

Materials needed:

An infant doll that matches the size of a newborn infant.

Pattern of Cleaning the Breast

The doll will serve as your infant to show the proper techniques in breastfeeding the newborn. If permitted or if the woman agrees, have one or two women she knows who breastfeed to be present. This will facilitate the ease of communication, instruction and rapport.

Positions for Breastfeeding

There are varied positions when breastfeeding. However, it is beneficial for you to take note that while one woman may find it easy for a certain position to breastfeed, other women may not. The key here is to get the most comfortable position for both the mother and the baby, while maintaining the eye and body contact, as well as achieving effective breastfeeding.

Underarm position or Rugby Ball Position

Rugby Ball Position

Instead of having the baby lie across the front of the body, he is positioned sideways, much like carrying a rugby ball. This will soon be a beneficial position for mothers who are constantly on their phone. Make sure that the mother maintains eye contact with the baby while talking on the phone. It gives the baby a feeling that he is being talked or cooed to.

This position would be ideal for mothers:

  • With twins
  • Who find good attachment difficult to achieve
  • With large breasts
  • With inverted nipples
  • Who have had a recent Caesarian section

Cradle or Baby Across the Lap Position

Cradle Position

This is the most common position that mothers assume during breastfeeding. It allows maximal eye and body contact. It allows the baby to tilt his head back and get the nipple and areola in his mouth to suckle effectively. It also renders the other arm free to support and offer the breast to the infant.

This position works best for mothers with full-term babies.

If you are not fully confident about this breastfeeding position (since it requires you to hold the baby in the crook of your arm in one hand, leaving one arm free) you can wait until the baby is about one month old. That is the estimated time when his neck muscles are strong enough for him to find his way to the nipple.

Cross Cradle Hold

Cross Cradle Hold

This is a modified version of the cradle hold. Instead of holding the baby in the crook of your arm, the bulk of the baby's body is supported by lap. Both of your hands are supporting his head and guiding him toward the nipple.

This position would be best for mothers with:

  • Small babies
  • Ill babies
  • Babies having difficulty to latch on

Breastfeeding while Lying Down

Reclined Breastfeeding

This position allows the mother to lie down and guide the baby toward the nipple. The baby is resting on the crook of the arm, while your other arm can hold him while suckling.

This position is suitable for a woman who:

  • Is recovering from a Caesarian Section
  • Is recovering from a difficult labor and delivery
  • Needs to lie down and rest
  • Breastfeeds at night

When you are reclining, the baby can be breastfed from the top breast as well as from the bottom breast. However, for those who still have difficulty with their babies latching on, it is advisable to use the bottom breast.

After each feeding, the mother should be reminded to clean her breast with the same procedure mentioned earlier.

What you SHOULD NOT do:

  1. 1
    Forget to clean your breast before feeding if you have applied perfume or lotions to your body.
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  2. 2
    Forget to burp the child after each feeding.
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  3. 3
    Take note of the time that the baby needs to be fed.
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  4. 4
    Breastfeed using one breast only.
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  5. 5
    Offer your breast in a position that causes your back to be strained
    (Both mother and baby should be relaxed and in a comfortable position.)
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  6. 6
    Let your baby's ear be folded when he's lying on his side during feeding.
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  7. 7
    Clean the breast with alcohol or soap
    (Both are harsh to the skin and may leave traces on the mother's skin enough that the baby might ingest It.)
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Bear in mind that success in breastfeeding not only lies in the health care professional's instruction, but also in the willingness of mothers to breastfeed their babies.

Advice and Tips when Breastfeeding

The relevance of breastfeeding has been reiterated over and over, and this is due to the simple fact that it's critical for the little ones to get every nutrient that can be drawn from breast milk. However, after just a few tries or couple of weeks, there are several first-time moms who give up breastfeeding. It's crucial for first-time mothers to acquire breastfeeding information, or talk to a healthcare professional in order to ensure successful breastfeeding.

When will the milk come in?

During the first stages of breastfeeding, the breast milk contains colostrum - also known as the immune milk - which is jam-packed with minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates and protein, specifically up to the fourth day, when the mature breast milk begins to come in.

Advice and Tips regarding Breastfeeding for First-Time Mothers

  1. 1
    If they need to, first-time mothers can attend a breastfeeding class
    In the breastfeeding class, the instructors will show the first-time mothers the proper way of breastfeeding. The instructors will also be able to provide pertinent answers to the questions of first-time mothers about breastfeeding.
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  2. 2
    It is much better to start breastfeeding early
    Thus, first-time mothers should nurse their little ones as soon as they can, preferably about an hour after the baby has been delivered.
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  3. 3
    It is also relevant for first-time mothers to find the most suitable breastfeeding position for them
    The most common position that used when breastfeeding babies is the Cradle Hold, yet first-time mothers can also try other kinds of breastfeeding positions, like Sling Cradle Hold, Cross Cradle Hold, and Football Hold.
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  4. 4
    First-time mothers should expect that their nipples will become sore, especially during the initial few weeks
    Eventually, the breasts should be at ease with the pulling, as well as tugging of the baby. After three weeks, approximately, the nipples will be a little tougher, since they are become accustomed. Then the nipple pain will start to reduce.
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  5. 5
    In the event that the sore nipples last for a month or more, first-time mothers should check to see how their little one is latching on
    Bad latch is considered to be the primary cause of sore nipples.
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  6. 6
    There are instances when a first-time mother may feel as if the baby isn't acquiring sufficient breast milk
    During the initial few days of the babies' life, they don't really need too much. Remember, the tummies of babies are so tiny, similar to the size of an unshelled, whole walnut. Therefore, the small amount of the colostrum will suffice their needs.
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  7. 7
    As healthcare workers say, mothers should not feed their baby with formulated milk, especially during the initial few weeks
    This is because the production of breast milk will be lessened. Babies need to empty the breasts of their mothers, so that the latter can yield sufficient milk. As a matter of fact, the mother may think it seems as if nothing is coming out of her nipples, but the truth is that she is producing larger amount of milk than she can imagine.
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  8. 8
    Mothers can pump their breasts; however, it should only be done after they're already finished breastfeeding the baby
    If mothers pump after each breastfeeding session, they can ensure that their breasts are empty. Also, they will be able to leverage the supply of their breast milk.
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Questions and Answers

Why are you telling moms to clean the nipple prior to latching the baby on to the breast?

This is completely counter-intuitive and negates the purpose of the Montgomery's tubercles.

The article has been corrected. You still should wash your breast if you applied perfume or body lotion and yes, some mothers do that occasionally.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


Article Info

Categories : Baby & Toddler

Recent edits by: Maria Quinney, Nlangster, estrella sacragon

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