Breastfeeding is best for your child’s health and your own! It also develops a unique bond between you and your newborn.
Some mothers, however, experience breastfeeding problems in the first few days. One common problem when breastfeeding is when the baby just won’t latch on.
You may have heard of using a nipple shield to get the baby to latch on properly. Nipple shields come in different sizes. If you’re having a hard time finding the right one for you, consult a skilled professional. Also, make sure your baby is latched on as far as possible on the shield to trigger successful sucking. Using a nipple shield should be temporary. Long-term use may cause a decrease in your milk production, which could result in your baby’s slow weight gain and cause longer and more frequent feedings. To help him learn to feed directly at the breast, offer your bare breast after a couple of minutes of using the shield. Your baby will eventually learn to latch on. Be patient! Most babies will only take the breast by the time they reach four to eight weeks. During that time, make sure your baby is well fed. You should also express your milk to maintain your supply.
If you’re experiencing problems when breastfeeding your child, don’t wait, get professional help right away. For more information or to receive skilled breastfeeding help, call the Eastern Ontario Health Unit at 1 800 267-7120.