Breastfeeding can be challenging at any given moment. A nursing mom, newbie or otherwise, can encounter improper latch, low milk supply, engorged breasts, and much more. The good news is a lot of help is available on the internet. One expert whom lactation consultants and counselors all over the world find reliable is Dr. Jack Newman, a pediatrician from Canada who has written articles and books on breastfeeding. He has produced videos that provide visual instruction to address some common nursing woes. Here are some of our favorite ones:
1. How to tell if your baby is getting enough milk
"The pause in the chin as the baby opens his/her mouth at its maximum, just before starting to close his/her mouth tells you the baby just got a mouthful of milk. The longer the pause, the more milk the baby got," Dr. Newman wrote in the caption.
2. How to tell if a baby is latched on but not drinking breast milk
He calls this way of sucking "nibbling." Dr. Newman explains in his post, "A baby who breastfeeds only with this type of sucking could stay on the breast for hours and still not get enough milk." If using compression (see below what it means) doesn't help, "The best way to supplement the baby is with a lactation aid at the breast."
3. How breast compression helps
Compression is similar to hand-expressing milk. "[The mother] supports the breast with her hand, encircling it by placing the thumb on one side of the breast [placing] the other fingers on the other side [of the breast] as close as practical to the chest wall. And then she brings her fingers and thumb together," writes Dr. Newman, who believes putting this type of finger pressure on the breast is better instead of pumping.
According to Dr. Newman, it's a misconception to think that breastfeeding tires the baby, making him fall asleep. In this video, the baby falls asleep, not because of exhaustion, but it is most likely due to the slow milk flow. "In this video, when the milk flow slowed, the baby started to fall asleep, and the video starts with the baby essentially asleep and not sucking. When the flow is increased by supplementation with a lactation aid at the breast, the baby wakes up and sucks vigorously," wrote Dr. Newman.
5. Don't be scared of cup-feeding
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At seven months and even younger, all babies can drink from a sippy cup, says Dr. Newman. The baby in this video is only 4 months old and has a tongue tie, but he can get his milk via cup-feeding. "Some babies go back and forth from breast to bottle without trouble, but in general, bottles are a problem particularly when the mother already has a breastfeeding problem. The bottle teaches the baby a poor latch," he wrote.
There are more videos here. Don't hesitate to ask for help from a lactation consultant or counselor is you're having issues with breastfeeding. It will help tremendously.