Experiencing difficulty when breastfeeding can be incredibly stressful. Despite your best efforts to stay positive, so many negative thoughts and emotions can float around your mind when your baby just won’t latch. However, it’s important to know that there are countless reasons why you may be having trouble with breastfeeding. . . and there is no shame.
Sometimes challenges happen, but thankfully there are many things you can do to help your baby (and you!) continue on your journey. Here are a few breastfeeding tips to help empower you and keep you positive.
1. Choose A Comfortable Environment
Whenever possible, choose a comfortable environment when you breastfeed your baby, as the surroundings can have an impact on whether or not your little one feels happy to latch. For example, if you’re in a busy city with traffic thundering past and waves of people making noise, then this might be too stressful for your little one to want to feed.
Instead, if you’re in a warm, quiet space where your baby can clearly hear your voice (and with only a few distractions!), they will feel comfortable enough to want to latch. Although it’s not always possible to be in an optimal environment, it’s best to choose a calming space whenever possible.
2. Try Out A Range Of Positions
When you picture a mother breastfeeding, you likely think of one specific position. However, this position may not work for you and your little one, and subsequently, it’s a good idea to try out a range of other options to see whether they’re a better fit.
There are lots of different ‘holds’ to investigate, from the cross-cradle hold, to the ruby hold, or even the ‘side-lying’ position. Take some time to watch a few video tutorials or read informative articles about each of these positions so that you can experiment with your baby, as you’ll likely stand a better chance of success.
3. Ask An Expert
If you try a variety of breastfeeding tips but your little one still seems disinterested in latching, then it’s recommended that you talk to an expert. There are many breastfeeding experts* and medical professionals that you can reach out to: obstetricians, pediatric nurses, lactation consultants, and even birth doulas, for example.
*If you’re local to San Diego, California, we love Dr. Steph Libs at Café of Life. She’s a lactation consultant, pediatric nurse, chiropractor, AND educator. She knows SO MUCH about breastfeeding and even has courses available for purchase!
There are lots of different solutions that experts may suggest, too, from using a breast pump to arranging laser frenectomy for your little one if they have a tongue or lip tie. An expert is going to know the exact solution to approach for your baby’s unique needs, as they have all of the right training and experience to properly identify, diagnose, and treat a whole host of conditions and ailments that relate to breastfeeding success.
Utilizing these breastfeeding tips can be of real benefit for both you and your little one! Just remember—you are bound to face obstacles during parenthood—but it’s the way that you tackle them that truly matters. (And there’s NO shame).