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Positioning Baby for Comfortable Breastfeeding

SIGNS TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHECKING A BABY IS CORRECTLY POSITIONED AT THE BREAST

 

  1. Baby turned towards mother with his body tucked in close to her body.
     

  2. Wide mouth.
     

  3. Top lip splayed back
     

  4. Bottom lip turned back against the breast.
     

  5. Lower jaw well into the breast.
     

  6. Nose against the breast, but not pressing in.
     

  7. When the corner of baby’s lower lip is gently turned back you will see his tongue over his lower gum.
     

  8. Baby’s cheeks should not be moving in and out and there shouldn’t be a clicking noise.
     

  9. Movement of the jaw bone may be visible, possibly with the top of his ear moving.
     

  10. Strong, deep rhythmic sucking interspersed with pauses.
     

  11. Large part of mothers areola (dark area around nipple) will be in baby’s mouth, particularly the underneath part.

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SORE AND CRACKED NIPPLES
 

Sore and cracked nipples are generally because:
 

  • Baby is not in the correct position for feeding
     

  • You have sensitive skin
     

  • You may have inverted nipples (although this is rare)

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WHAT TO DO:
 

  • Watch your position – go back to basics.
     

  • Get your latch checked by your midwife.
     

  • Feed from the less painful side (if one is less painful than the other!) and gently express the sore side. Please give the expressed colostrum (first couple of days) or milk by a cup or syringe. It is better not to introduce a bottle at this stage as bottle sucking differs greatly to breastfeeding.
     

  • Take care to release the suction properly otherwise baby will pull on the nipple.
     

  • Rub a little expressed colostrum or milk into the nipple to soften and lubricate it. If you wish to use a nipple cream try a Pure Lanolin. Manuka Honey Breast pads may be helpful
     

  • Nipple shields may be helpful in certain circumstances but should be used correctly and with caution as they can cause a reduction in the transfer of milk. The use of them should be discussed first with your midwife.

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