Our Best Tips for Easier Breastfeeding!

A woman´s body is amazing; it is designed to create the purest, most nutritionally beneficial food source for baby – breastmilk!

Breastfeeding can be a very fulfilling experience, but it does not necessarily come easily. Let's talk about the latch, because the most important piece to the “breastfeeding puzzle” is the latch. How the baby latches onto the mother’s nipple, together with proper positioning goes hand in hand for making breastfeeding a beautiful bonding experience.

Here are some helpful tips for the best latch:

1. Find a comfortable and quiet spot to breastfeed.

2. Position your baby properly with a nursing pillow. Tummy-to-tummy with you, and keep their ear, shoulder and hip in alignment. This will make swallowing easier for them. It is beneficial to get a good nursing pillow, so both you and the baby can be as comfortable as possible during feeding. The pillow should give adjustable firmness to support mother´s neck and shoulders as well as optimum comfort for the baby.
3. Nipple position. Aim the nipple towards the baby´s upper lip/nose. Make sure the baby opens her/his mouth widely to allow for the best latch
4. Flanged lips. Your baby´s lips should be flanged out around the nipple like a fish.

Struggling to breastfeed?
Breastfeeding may have been your goal, but sometimes there are reasons that make this process unsuccessful, and in times like this, know that it is more than ok to bottle-feed as well. Fed is best! Thankfully we live in a time with variety of options available for moms who are unable to nurse.

The following factors are some of the most common reasons for why breastfeeding becomes difficult:
- Shallow latch
- Tongue-tie
- Insufficient supply
- Musculoskeletal issues
- Birth trauma (such as vacuum, forceps or C-section)
- Misalignment from the birthing process

Fortunately these challenges can be overcome. Let a paediatric chiropractor, or other manual therapists assess the baby’s musculoskeletal system, ensuring proper muscle, joint and nerve coordination and strength needed for a proper latch. A paediatric doctor will revise tongue tie and a lactation consultant skilled in resolving latch issues, helps in guiding the coordination needed for efficient suckling patterns.

Remember: Fed is best! Hands up for all mothers out there feeding a baby today, you are doing an amazing job!

By Dr. Ann Kristin S. Homdrum

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