Re: After my Lactation Consultant Appointment...
The LC gave good advice about being patient. It's so common for babies to latch like an absolute dream at the LC's office, but not at home. When I was having trouble nursing my first daughter, I actually fantasized about breaking into the LC's house and stealing her nursing chair, which was the only place where I had ever gotten a good latch! But in time, my baby started to latch well even at home, in our regular, non-magical seating.
It's very normal for babies- especially very young babies- to fuss and cry and pull off the breast screaming when they're nursing. Nursing is a very tricky skill. It's pretty much the biggest physical challenge a healthy baby can face- breathing happens automatically, pooping and peeing happen unstoppably even if baby has no idea how to coordinate those sphincters. But nursing requires an immense amount of focus, coordination, and strength.
Often babies fuss when the letdown is too fast, and also when it's too slow. Their only way of expressing their upset is to cry. It's not that they hate nursing or anything like that- it's that the only way they know to fix a problem they are having or think they are having is to cry.
Some things to try for a baby who is frantic at the breast:
- swaddle- that way baby can't lever himself off the breast using his flailing arms and legs
- try to nurse baby before he is crying, since babies often latch better when their hunger isn't totally ranging and they are still somewhat calm
- try nursing in bed- side-lying or other reclined positions can be calming for everyone, and you don't have to work as hard to position the baby
- if baby becomes frantic, and is refusing to latch on or has popped off the breast and won't go back on, try offering a clean pinky finger to suck, with nail held down towards the baby's tongue instead of up, towards the delicate skin of the palate. Sucking on a finger can remind baby that- hey, this sucking thing is nice! All he has to do is to suck and he'll feel better!
- try instant reward techniques- before latching baby on, express some milk onto the surface of the nipple, or dribble some expressed milk or even formula onto the nipple. The taste of milk can cue the baby to nurse a little more enthusiastically, if he is having trouble figuring out that latching + nursing + patience will eventually = milk.
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"