When your baby latches on properly, he or she can more easily get breast milk out of your breast. Effective removal is important for both you and your child. It allows your baby to get enough milk to grow healthy and strong, and helps your body build and maintain your milk supply.
On the other hand, when babies don’t suck well, it can lead to breastfeeding problems for both parents and babies. Babies who don’t get enough milk may slow to gain weight or even lose weight. Breastfeeding parents can develop painful breast conditions such as breast engorgement, blocked milk ducts, or mastitis. Ineffective elimination of breast milk can also cause a low breast milk supply.
Most babies can latch on and suck well, even if they need a little support at first. However, there are some situations that can make locking the door more difficult. Addressing these will make breastfeeding more successful and comfortable.
If your infant is unable to latch on and breastfeed, it is important that you get help from your doctor or lactation specialist as soon as possible.
Sometimes a child’s behavior can contribute to latching problems. If your baby is agitated or very sleepy, he may have trouble latching on.
Your child is Fussy
When babies are too fussy, they may refuse to feed. If your baby is hungry, overtired, or overstimulated, breastfeeding can be more difficult.
Try to feed your baby when he’s awake and calm and before he’s too hungry. If your baby is crying, try to comfort them before feeding. Holding and swaddling your baby or moving to a quiet area and dimming the lights can also help.
Gently squeeze a few drops of breast milk onto your breast just before you try to get your baby to latch on. The smell and taste of milk can encourage your baby to suckle. You can also try switching positions or sides.
Your child is sleepy
If all babies want to do is sleep, they may not be interested in latching on and nursing. Sometimes, medications given to midwives during delivery can cause additional drowsiness. If this is the case, the drowsiness should go away with the medication.
Many times babies are just tired. If your baby doesn’t wake up for a feed, wake them up at least every two to three hours. Try to wake them up by talking softly, unwrapping their towels, and changing their diapers.
Sometimes, you just need to hold your baby in a different position to breastfeed. If they are a little less warm and comfortable, they will be more likely to stay awake to feed.
Breast or nipple problems
Sometimes the shape and size of the breast and nipple make it difficult for a baby to latch on properly. But there are things you can do to help if your baby is having trouble latching on.
You have big nipples
If you have large nipples, it may be harder for babies to latch on. Even medium-sized nipples can be too large for premature babies.
For a baby to latch well, he needs to be able to take the entire nipple, plus an adequate amount of the areola, into his mouth. If your nipple fills your child’s mouth, they won’t be able to grab any of the surrounding areola along with it. As a result, they will not be able to effectively remove breast milk.
A nipple shield may be helpful. When it is placed on the nipple, the shape of the shield is smaller and easier for the baby to hold in the mouth. Enlarged nipples are only a problem in the early days of breastfeeding. As your baby gets older, it will be easier for them to latch on to the breast directly.
You have big breasts
It can be very awkward and difficult to get your baby to latch on properly when you have very large breasts. The size of the breast can prevent you from seeing your nipples and the baby’s mouth. Holding and positioning the breasts is also more difficult.
In this situation, the best way to get your baby to latch on is to ask someone else for help in the first place. Then, when you’re comfortable and your baby learns to latch on and suck, you’ll be able to do it yourself.
Your breasts are very attached
Breast engorgement is common, especially in the early days of breastfeeding. From day three to day five, your colostrum will turn into mature breast milk.
During the transition period, breast milk production increases. When your breasts quickly fill up, it can cause them to swell and harden.
If the skin over the breast is tight and the nipple is stretched, it may be difficult for your baby to latch on. You can soften the skin around your nipples and areola by pumping or manually expressing some breast milk before you start breastfeeding. This will make it easier for your baby to latch on.
Are your nipples flat or inverted?
Some babies can latch on to a flat or even inverted nipple. However, sometimes flat or inverted nipples make it harder for babies to latch on.
If your infant can’t latch on properly because your nipple isn’t sticking out of your breast, try pumping for a minute or two before you start breastfeeding. The suction of a breast pump will sometimes suck out and stretch the nipple just enough for your baby to latch on. If that doesn’t work, talk to your doctor or lactation specialist about trying a nipple shield.
Young birds have small mouths, making it harder to get a better pin.With less energy to pump and pump milk out of the breast, babies can tire quickly before they have enough breast milk.
Nipple shields can help premature babies close their mouths more easily. Or, you may have to pump breast milk for your babies until they are a little older.
Physical barriers and cognitive status can make breastfeeding more difficult. Some conditions make it difficult to maintain suction, while others can affect the coordination that breastfeeding requires.
Your baby has a tongue-Tie
In babies born with ankyloglossia, the tissue that connects the tongue to the lower part of the mouth is instead attached closer to the tip of the tongue. Babies with thrush can’t take their tongue out of their mouth far enough to latch onto the right breast to feed.
If your infant is having trouble latching on and you suspect thrush, let your pediatrician know. They will need to refer your baby to a specialist trained to diagnose the condition. Once your child has been seen by a specialist (such as an otolaryngologist or ENT doctor), treatment will be based on the severity of the condition.
Your baby was born with a cleft lip
A cleft lip makes it harder for an infant to latch on to the breast and creates a filling around the breast. If your baby also has a cleft palate, creating the suction needed to suck milk from your breast can be difficult for your baby.
It is not necessarily impossible to breastfeed if your baby has a cleft lip and/or palate. Your infant’s doctor, lactation consultant, and other professionals involved in your baby’s care can provide guidance.
Learning malformation breastfeeding techniques and starting as early as possible will give you the best chance of successful breastfeeding.
Does your child have Down syndrome?
Babies with Down syndrome often have small mouths and poor muscle tone, which can make it difficult to latch on. Babies can also have thrush and poor feeding ability — all of which can affect their ability to breastfeed.
With time and support, many babies with Down syndrome are able to breastfeed successfully. Breastfeeding can even help babies with Down syndrome develop coordination and strengthen their facial muscles.
If your baby has Down syndrome, you should talk to a lactation specialist soon if you want to breastfeed. You can try breastfeeding as soon as it’s safe, maybe even in the delivery room. To encourage your baby to latch on and suckle, hold your baby to the breast often and give him plenty of skin-to-skin contact.
Does your child have other special needs?
A baby with nerve problems may have difficulty forming a filling around the breast or when feeding. Babies with heart problems can get tired easily or have trouble breathing and breastfeed at the same time.
If your baby is born with health problems, he or she will need more help with latching on as well as more time to adjust to breastfeeding. You may have to pump breast milk and supplement your infant’s nutrition while you’re both learning about strings.
When should you call the doctor?
Call your baby’s doctor right away if you see any of these signs of dehydration.
- Your baby doesn’t wake up and latch on to your breast most of the time.
- The soft spot on top of your baby’s head is sinking into their skull.
- Your baby’s lips and mouth are dry.
- Your baby doesn’t have the normal number of wet diapers. During the first 5 days after birth, wet and dirty diapers must match the date of birth (one wet and one dirty diaper on day 1, two diapers on day 2, etc.). After day 5, expect to have at least six wet diapers and three dirty diapers (although some babies will have fewer stools).
A very good word
Lactation problems can interfere with breastfeeding, reduce breastfeeding confidence, and lead to early weaning. With the right help, most latch problems can be fixed. Even babies born prematurely or with physical and neurological problems can still learn to latch on and breastfeed.
Breastfeeding is not always simple and easy, especially in the beginning. It’s usually a learning process for parents and babies. If you have the patience, support, and guidance from lactation consultants and other health care providers, you can turn breastfeeding problems into success.
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