I had the pleasure of providing home visits with 2 moms that had attended my breastfeeding class shortly after the New Year. I remember both couples as they had good questions and both husbands were really into the class. One even took notes on his ipad. I was quite impressed. One baby was born pretty close to due date. This mom, LuAnne, was actually doing quite well. She took what she learned in class, combined that with the excellent help she had during her hospital stay, and really got off to a great breastfeeding start. She did schedule a consult though because while breastfeed was going well, she still had some degree of nipple soreness and knew that this shouldn’t be. Observing her latch her baby on, I could see that everything looked pretty good. I could see why she hesitated to call me because, like she said, she felt the latch was good.
After we let her baby breastfeed for about 10 minutes, she then broke the latch so I could help her experiment and make a few adjustments. She described her overall pain level at at 4, with 1 being no pain at all and 10 being the worse. She had no cracks or visual trauma to her nipples. After some experimentation, what worked best for her and consistently brought her comfort level to a 1 was 2 specific changes. The first one was to make sure her baby was fully turned to the breast, as he had been slightly on his back, rather fully tucked into and facing her chest. The other one was, being very large breasted, each time she latched her baby on, she then pressed her thumb down on her breast, above babies nose. What this did was change the placement of her babies nipple and bring the nipple closer to her gums causing a biting sensation. Once she stopped doing that, this made a huge difference. Two days later, she called me up to say she had no more pain whatsoever and she was thoroughly enjoying breastfeeding.
The second mom that I wanted to tell you about her name is Beth. I was not surprised that Beth had called me for a consult, because she was nervous before the breastfeeding class, she was anxious during the class and once it was over, she said to me that while she did learn a lot, she was still very, very nervous. She was very concerned because, while she did have good support from her husband, her own mother, did not “believe” in breastfeeding and she was going to be with her a lot pp. Beth knew of noone else in her family who had even tried breastfeeding.
I encouraged her to attend breastfeeding support group at the hospital she was delivering at, or LLL, but wasn’t sure if she would or not. Beth had a vaginal birth with no complications however, her baby was readmitted to the hospital 4 days after birth with jaundice and high bilirubin levels. They had her pumping and bottlefeeding and by the time she came home, she had two concerns. First one – she was scared to try breastfeeding because that is what caused baby to become jaundiced and now her baby who had been happy to go to the breast, was okay to go to the breast, but would just hang out.
When I met with her, I was pleased to find out that her baby was back to birthweight, was well fed, jaundice was no longer an issue and she had a great milk supply. After watching her latch her baby on, demonstrating a few changes, encouraging her to do some breast compression to interest her baby in sucking, within 45 minutes, her baby was latching on each time she tried. By the time she latched her baby onto the second side, she was a pro at sitting up and latching her baby on, as well as laying back and side lying. her baby was a pretty mellow baby and let us do lots of practicing.
This does not always happen. By the time I left Beth about 1 1/2 hours later, she was smiling and seemed to really have a boost of confidence! A few days later, she sent me an email with a video of her laying down breastfeeding. She loves breastfeeding like this as she gets some good naps in. Best of all, she said in her email that her mother told her that while she doesn’t quite understand how this whole breastfeeding thing is working, she did have to admit to Beth that both she and her baby seem quite happy and relaxed and that “something she is doing is working right.” Well, that is like the best compliment ever.
Lori J. Isenstadt, IBCLC
Lori Jill Isenstadt, IBCLC is a huge breastfeeding supporter. She has spent much of her adult life working in the maternal health field. Once she became turned on to birth and became a childbirth educator, there was no stopping her love of working with families during their childbearing years. Lori became a Birth doula and a Postpartum doula and soon became a lactation consultant. She has been helping moms and babies with breastfeeding for over 25 years. Lori founded her private practice, All About Breastfeeding where she meets with moms one on one to help solve their breastfeeding challenges. She is an international speaker, book author and the host of the popular itunes podcast, All About Breastfeeding, the place where the girls hang out. You can reach Lori by email at: [email protected] or contact her via her website: allaboutbreastfeeding.biz/contact
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