Ever been to the lactation specialist while having latch issues, where she grabs your boob and smoothly & seamlessly sticks it into baby’s mouth with the perfect latch? Then there’s you, all awe-struck and stuff. Amazing, you think! So you ask her to do it again, ’cause you’ve been struggling your touche off all this time, so it must have been a fluke, right? Except, she does it again. Perfect score. And you’re like “Halluleha, all my troubles have passed, let’s pack it up, I got this breastfeeding thing in the baaaag. Sianara, Nurse Awesome!”. Only to come home, sans professional help, and you and baby are all like fumblia-supreme. Again. Reopening old nipple wounds, frustration levels creep up again. Confidence levels tumble down. And you’re like “but, but…ohhh, ffs!”. Yes? Happened to you? Yeah. Me too.
In fact, very much so with baby number two. Now, I’m not sure if I even had as hard a time with my first or if it was more just the reality slap in the face that I got from the false sense of security that the experience with my first one gave me. I mean, I had been through some tough stuff with her first, so I was like, whatever breastfeeding challenges you’re bringing life, I got this! Except I didn’t. Because feeding baby number two was not at all like feeding baby number 1. Because, well duh, baby number two was nothing at all like baby one.
So there was me, wholly dumbfounded by the fact that none of my previously learnt tips and tricks worked with Parker-Grace. And I had a manic time with her – our breastfeeding journey was one hell of a trip! In fact, if you read about how it all went down (see here and here) you may never have guessed that we made it all the way to the 11 / 11.5 months mark, eh? But we did. Through shredded nipples, mastitis, plummeting supply and all. Parker and I sorted out our latching issues, all thanks to a simple picture that was shared with me.
Yup, that’s right, just a picture.
OK, fine, it was actually all thanks to the wonderful woman that shared that picture with me, Jean Ridler, who is a lactation specialist from The Lactation Consultancy. She really was heaven-sent that day. And my love and appreciation go out to her all the time, and every time I think of my breastfeeding journey with Parker-Grace.
The logic and sense that she brought with her, the calm and understanding energy…the CLARITY she brought with her that day, was all that it took for Parker and I to take our corner onto breastfeeding success street. It was so simple, but I am still in amazement as to what that ONE picture that she showed me did for me, and assisted in all that she explained to me.
So for all the new momma’s out there who, along with baby, are struggling with their latch, I hope I can bring a bit of clarity to you with this very simple picture and how a latch should look.
I mean we’ve all been shown pics of what a good latch looks like, but just like I told Jean that day…”So HOW do I ensure I get the right latch”. That’s when she whipped out this infographic:
I read it in amazement, like why do ALL breastfeeding women not get provided with this as a standard issue?! Like an easy to read ABC of breastfeeding how-to!
This infographic depicts the way the breast should actually be in baby’s mouth, how the nipple should enter baby’s mouth, and why, and how you should hold your own breast and where to place your breast.
If you look at the pic, you’d notice that the correct latch has that your nipple is suctioned all the way at the back of baby’s mouth- where the soft palate is. If your latch is incorrect, your nipple will end up against the hard palate and THIS is where and how nipple damage is caused. What’s more, is that baby will not be able to adequately extract the milk if latch is not correct, leaving baby still wanting more. And more feeding in the incorrect latch, means nipple damage. And nipple damage, aside from being painful, leads to a world other complications and pain, you just dont want!
Now, you maybe squinting, trying to make it out, and unfortunately I do not own this picture to provide a usable version thereof. However, you can purchase one straight from the Rebecca Glover site over here.
Although, if you’re struggling with breastfeeding – latching or otherwise -I would at the drop of a hat recommend that you call up Jean Ridler herself,or any of her other lactation specialist colleagues, like Rosemary Gauld. The
Lactation Consultancy ladies have all the material themselves, and will gladly show them to you, including an incredible video that will also shed alot of light on any of your issues. (More on that later!)
In fact, even if you’re not yet breastfeeding, but feel you wish to go in more prepared, they offer breastfeeding classes. And just to clarify, this is NOT like the breastfeeding lessons you get as part of your birth prep classes you normally get. You know where they give you a once over in a matter of a few minutes, maybe an hour. Nope, this is a proper fully fledged course that will certainly make you more informed, lift the veil on breastfeeding success, thereby boosting your confidence to boot. Knowledge is power, folks!
Seriously, do yourself a favour and call up The Lactation Consultancy -they do house calls! They are lovely, and they are more than capable of helping you. And if I may say so myself, the money you spend on them is more than worth it. Any breastfeeding issues or concerns? Then just do it. Do it today. You won’t be sorry.
That pic honestly made it all click into place in my head that day:not only how the nipple should enter baby’s mouth, and why, but also how you should hold your own breast and then where to place your breast to get the right latch. All things I was wishing someone could just tell me, and not just let me “figure it out”. I mean yes, figuring it out does happen, but honestly, my nipples couldnt stand anymore trial and error at that point.Anymore, and Im pretty sure I’d have no nipples left today. And now, Im hoping that I can help provide some light to any other mom out there struggling with this too.
So, if your heart is set on getting this breastfeeding gig right, then know that help is at hand. It always is. For more links as to where to go for help see here. (Hint: Once on that page, scroll, scroll, scroll right towards bottom where the links are.)
Here’s to well-informed and empowered mamas! You got this! X