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Breast Feeding Problems for First-Time Mothers

Updated on September 1, 2014

The Main Cause of the Problem

The main cause of this problem is that even though our bodies are perfectly made for all purposes, very often adjustments have to be made for them to function properly. For instance a child's legs are wobbly when it starts walking but they grow stronger and steadier with time. The same case applies to the nipple. It may be small or short because it has not been serving any purpose. But once the baby pulls on it an milk flows out, then its size begins to adjust accordingly for use by the baby and any subsequent babies. So a small or short nipple is not a disability in any way, it is a mere adjustment issue.

Nipple Formation

There is no joy for a woman perhaps that is greater than finally holding her bundle of joy in her hands. However, sometimes, when she wants to start breastfeeding, the trouble begins. The baby cannot access breast milk because the nipple keeps slipping out of its mouth. So what happens?

The main problem that some first-time mothers have when trying to breastfeed their babies for the first time is that their nipples are too short or small to fit into the baby's mouth properly. However, it is important to note that this is not a problem for all new mothers, but only for some of them. So there is no need to go into a panic if you are currently carrying your first pregnancy. In any case, the problem is not a permanent one but can be easily sorted.

Sorting Out the Problem

Many pediatricians advice that the mother should take advantage of the law of gravity to sort out this problem. This is done by placing the mouth of the baby at a position lower than the breast itself. One way of doing this is laying the baby on its side on a couch and the mother also lying sideways facing the baby. When the mother slightly raises the breast position by propping herself on and elbow, the breast will be hanging downwards towards the baby's mouth. For this to be highly effective, the baby's mouth should be turned slightly upwards so that the nipple is hanging downwards. This will stop the nipple falling off the baby's mouth since it is hanging over the mouth. Remember the more the baby suckles the nipple, the more it will expand. Consequently, the issue of the nipple falling off the mouth will resolve itself over time.

The other thing to remember is that if the mother is facing the baby and propping herself on the left elbow, then the left breast is fed to the baby, with the latter lying on his right-side. The position of the baby and the mother is then reversed for the other breast.

Baby Attachment to Breast

Proper Baby-to-Breast Attachment
Proper Baby-to-Breast Attachment | Source

Medical Assistance

If the method above does not work after about 2 weeks, that is if the nipples fail to develop and keep falling off the baby's mouth (which is very rare) then the best solution is for the mother to see a gynecologist to help sort out the problem. There are medical ways of sucking out the nipple so that it develops to the right size. The mother and baby should therefore avoid the distress that is caused by improperly formed nipples, since a solution is always available. After all, childbirth and baby care still remain some of the most fulfilling and important activities on planet earth.


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