I’m Alissa Pemberton, I’m a lactation consultant and holistic sleep coach.
I’m going to share with you some of the common issues that I come across around breastfeeding and my top tips to help the way that you position and help your baby to latch onto the breast makes a really big difference as to how they’ll feed. It’s going to impact how effectively your baby can feed and how much milk they can get. And it’s also going to impact how comfortable feeding feels for you is a really easy acronym that you can think about when you bring your baby to the breast in terms of making sure that you’ve got them positioned.
Well, this acronym is chin or C. H. I. N.
So the first thing you want to think about is having your baby close. Now, when I say close, I mean really close. You want to bring your baby up to your body. Never positioned them on a feeding pillow and take yourself down to them. We want to bring them up on to you. Ideally set yourself somewhere where you can recline back slightly. This helps gravity to keep baby close to you. And it actually also supports them to be able to control their head and neck, because they’re more in a position where they’re laying on their tummy rather than on their side or their back. So we’re bringing your baby up towards you. We’re tucking them in really nice and close, and you can tuck them in right in that little gap between your postpartum tummy and your breasts in there.
The second thing is we want to have their head free.
If we have anything pressing on your baby’s head, it’s going to impact their ability to tilt their head back. When they’re feeding, when your baby feeds, they need to be able to tip their head back. Just like we do when we’re having a drink. When you have a drink, you instinctively tilt your head back, And this is exactly what your baby needs to be able to do when they’re feeding. So we’ve got your baby close. We’re making sure their heads are free. So we don’t have our hand on the back of their head. And we also don’t have them buried in the crook of your arm. This is going to allow your baby to tip their head back when they come into latch onto the breast. So that rather than coming straight into the breast like this, or being pushed in, they’re actually able to tip their head back.
The next thing we need to think about is having your baby in line. So we want to make sure that their shoulders and their hips are all in a nice straight line. Lots of mums fall into the trap when they’re using a breastfeeding pillow or laying their baby down on the pillow.
And then the baby has to try and turn their head to the side, to be able to latch on just like with us, having a drink, trying to turn your head to the side and drink over your shoulder is really difficult because you can’t tip your head back. So we want to make sure that we bring the baby up facing directly towards your breast, shoulders and hips, all in a nice straight line.
And then the last part of our acronym N is nose to the nipple. So when you bring your baby to the breast, you actually don’t want to point the nipple towards their mouth, pointing the nipple towards their mouth, encourages your baby to take a really shallow latch. We want to angle your baby so that the nipple actually points towards their nose.
The easiest way to do this is to get your baby in position, get yourself comfortable. They’re close. They’re heads free. They’re in a nice straight line. And then we very easily do a little slide away from yourbreast. So we’re going to slide baby around your body like this. This naturally encourages your baby to tilt their head back and bring the chin into the breast with the nipple pointing towards their nose. So from your perspective, looking at your baby, this is what you’ll see that we’ve brought our baby in towards the breast, but we don’t want that nipple pointing towards their mouth. We’re going to slide baby around your body so that we end up with this where we’ve got babies, chin coming into the breast first nipple pointing towards their nose. And you almost get a triangle shape with nipple, nose and chin making the three points of a triangle. If you can position your baby in this way, when they feed it will encourage them to tip your head back, bring the chin into the breast first and open a much wider mouth and take a deeper mouth full of breast, which is going to make breastfeeding more comfortable and also more effective for your baby.