I spend the majority of my working day supporting breastfeeding Mums. I get a huge sense of achievement knowing that I’ve helped a Mum ‘establish lactation’ as we say in the medical world!
Nipple pain and trauma has to be THE most common problem that presents in the early days whilst establishing breastfeeding. It’s estimated that approximately 85% of Mums suffer nipple pain in the first few days after the birth of their baby.
Once baby is latched onto the breast the one most important thing to do is check that baby is attached correctly.
I always use the ‘Kelloggs Special K’ sign as an analogy to how well your baby is attached. If you Google the sign you’ll see what I mean!
Simply, check that the baby’s cheek and your breast are close together. Don’t allow your baby to ‘cliff hang’ meaning that baby has pulled away from breast and baby’s cheek and your breast are not in contact with each other.
Next, make sure the baby has a full round cheek with no dimples. If you notice dimpling then it’s possible that baby doesn’t have enough breast tissue in his/her mouth.
After that ideally the baby’s top lip should be flanged up and outwards while the bottom lip should be curled down and outwards and yes, that’s it – all similar to the Kellogs Special K sign!
Once baby is attached correctly you’ll notice subtle movements along the jawline, at base & above the ear and around the temple area. This means that baby is attached, suckling and transferring milk effectively. In time you will hear the audible gulping noise of the baby swallowing the milk. These are simple but great indicators of baby’s attachment and feeding.