Hold It Like A Hamburger... and 6 Other Breastfeeding Tips We've Received
Posted By: Mike Schaffer
Your eyes are not deceiving you! Mike Schaffer is here to provide our first-ever male breastfeeding perspective.
A coworker of mine told me that the only breastfeeding advice she ever received from a lactation consultant was “hold it like a hamburger.”
I’m assuming she meant the breast, not the baby.
My wife and I went to a breastfeeding class recently, since neither of us could get help from our parents since we weren't breastfed.
We were "those people." Each of us filled our own notebook with information, tidbits and some jokes. I mean, it’s hard NOT to crack a laugh when talking about boobs for two hours!
But here are six other, more specific, breastfeeding tips we’ve picked up along the way:
• Watch the baby, not the clock: Yeah, a newborn should be eating, on average, every three hours. However, the most important thing is to pay attention to the physical signs of hunger from the baby.
• Milk production is about nerve stimulation: In the first few days and even weeks, the baby is helping stimulate prolactin hormone receivers by stimulating nerves around the nipples, even if there isn’t a lot of “product” coming out. It’s OK.
• Size doesn’t matter: Who knew? The size of the breast has absolutely no impact on milk production.
• Increase skin-to-skin contact: Body contact actually helps nurture emotional and brain health in the baby and release oxytocin (the “mothering hormone”) in the mother. Dads can help the baby with skin-to-skin contact, but we won’t get the matching hormone release.
• Dads, know your role: We can help mom feed better by helping manage her pain, relieve her stress and keep her warm. Ensure she takes any medication she needs (like laxatives or pain relievers) and massage her. Massaging mom while she feeds the baby is a great family bonding event.
• Breast-feed, don’t nipple-feed: A good latch involves much more than just the nipple itself, causing the baby to get better milk flow. It also helps prevent cracked nipples which can lead to mastitis (breast infection).
We know every mom/baby combination has different challenges and capabilities, but we feel well-prepared.
By listening to as many people as possible, we can make informed decisions that work for us, and adjust tactics as needed.