Baby’s right sucking position
Show the mother how is a right sucking position so as the baby sucks well and does not hurt her breast. For this to happen:
• The baby has to be awoken;
• The mouth of the baby must snap/ catch all the nipple and most part of the areola, which is the dark part around the nipple;
• The lower lip of the child should be turned out;
• The baby’s chin should touch the nipple.
The baby usually sucks, give a break and then suck again. The mother can hear the baby swallowing the milk.
Even when the baby sucks in the right position, the mother can feel some sharp pain in the beginning of breastfeeding; this is the baby pulling the nipple.
There is not a right time for breastfeeding. Some babies “devour” the milk fast, others suck it very slowly. The new born babies use to take 15 or 20 minutes to be fed. This time is enough for the baby to receive all nutrients from the milk.
In general the babies do not manage to empty both breasts. It is important to let the child empty very well one breast before changing to the other. If the baby does not want to suck it means he/she is already full.
When you take the baby from the breast the mother shall put the little finger on the corner of the baby’s mouth. Doing this makes the baby loose the nipple without hurting the breast.
After being breastfed the baby should be put on a standing position on the lap with the back and the head well supported. If the baby swallowed some air he/she will eructate. It is not necessary to beat on the baby’s back or to toss the child.
Leader, teach the mother to start each new breastfeeding session:
• With the breast which the baby has not sucked before; or
• If the baby has sucked both breasts, to begin with the one he/she last sucked.
In order to keep the breast clean for the baby, it is enough that the mother takes a shower everyday and changes the bra whenever it is wet.
In the end of breastfeeding, in order to protect the breast, the mother should take one or two drops of her milk and pass on the areolas and on the nipples, then let it dry before getting dressed. The fat of the milk makes a protection layer against the bacteria and lubricates the skin, protecting the nipple of the breast against cracked nipple.
The mother’s milk must be given whenever the baby asks. This makes the baby put on weight faster.
The baby who is breastfed does not need to take tea or water. Thirstiness is solved with the milk alone even in very warm and dry places.
The baby who is not only breastfed is subject to suffer from more infections such as diarrhea and pneumonia.
When the mother says she has not much milk or that is having difficulties to breastfeed it is necessary to check what is happening:
• Is the baby put in the right sucking position?
• Is the baby having water, tea or any other type of milk besides the mother’s milk?
• Is the baby breastfed whenever he/she asks for it?
• Is the mother going through any difficulty?
• Does her partner encourage and give her any support so she can breastfeed?
• Have all other family members, friends and neighbours been helping the mother throughout this stage?
Difficulties may appear, especially when it is the first child and the mother has not had much experience or if the mother has faced problems to breastfeed her other children. These women need more support from the family and from you, leader.
There is no weak maternal milk. When the mother becomes tired or annoyed the milk may be less produced. Tell the mother to drink more liquid, eat well and rest more.
It is recommended to explain to the parents that every baby loses a little weight in the first days of life. Then through breastfeeding the baby’s weight will increase. The more the baby sucks the more milk the mother produces.
Every baby has his/her own feeding and sleeping pace. The parents can identify whether the baby is sucking enough when he/she pees or defecates several times a day. The pooh is usually soft, yellow, greenish yellow and in small quantity. This is not diahrrea.
The father cannot breastfeed but he can give support to the mother. Thus, he strengthens his paternal connection with the baby. He can, for example, bring the baby to be breastfed, put the baby for eructation, change the diapers, talk and sing to the baby.
Leader, it is important to be closer to the mother in the beginning of breastfeeding. Follow at least two breastfeeding sessions to see if the baby sucks in the right position and help to quieten the mother at this moment.
“Blessed the womb that bore you and the breasts that fed you!” Luk 11:27