Ros's Toolbox

There are various useful tips that can help with many common problems, therefore see this section as your toolbook of helpful solutions.

Breast Compressions

This technique has been well documented by Dr Jack Newman (2014). A useful technique to learn to increase the amount of milk a baby receives while they are actively ‘drinking’ at the breast. This can have a twofold benefit, your milk supply will increase, your babies milk intake will increase and this should then lead to your baby becoming satisfied quicker.

Uses:

  • Slow or poor weight gain

  • Fussing at the breast

  • Often unlatches

  • Pulling off breast due to slow let down (can often happen where there is a growth spurt and the milk output needs increasing to their demands)

  • Short frequent feeds or never ending feeds

  • Relieve persistent blocked ducts or mastitis

  • Stimulate a sleepy baby to continue to feed

Technique:

  1. Support your breast with your thumb above and fingers below, or if you find it easier with a flat hand then compressing by bringing the fingers towards your palm (see the video clip below). You should place your hand close to the chest wall rather than near the areola, to prevent baby’s loss of latch.

  2. Assess when your baby is actively drinking; there should be a rhythm of WIDE OPEN MOUTH/DEEP DROP IN JAW – PAUSE- CLOSE MOUTH This will be different from when the baby is merely suckling to stimulate let down, here the jaw doesn’t drop so low and the mouth isn’t as wide open.

  3. When your baby starts to suckle but is not drinking yet COMPRESS THE BREAST. The compression should be firm but must not hurt you.

  4. The baby will then start to drink WIDE OPEN MOUTH/DEEP DROP IN JAW – PAUSE – CLOSE MOUTH. Keep the compression going through this stage too.

  5. Release when the baby stops drinking.

  6. The baby starts to suckle again REPEAT.

At some point the baby may not suckle for some time, so a gently massage of the breast may stimulate a let-down. If you feel your baby has finished feeding on this side switch to the second breast and continue to feed to their satisfaction. Baby’s require differing amounts of milk throughout the day and night and can vary due to their temperature, their health, their growth.

The Flipple

The "Flipple" for a deeper latch:

A method of "flipping" the "Nipple" (hence Flipple) deep into the back of your baby's mouth, to ensure a good latch.

Whichever direction your baby comes onto the nipple press your finger on the opposite side of the areola. This causes the nipple to direct away from your baby's mouth. The baby actually starts to take in the breast before the nipple. Then just at the point they have their widest gape and are about to latch, let go and bring baby to the breast, simultaneously. As your baby sucks in your breast, because the nipple is attached, it is taken deep into their mouth.

The Breast Sandwich

Think about when you eat a really deep sandwich or filled roll, you squash it to fit your mouth, this technique helps squash the breast to fit your baby’s mouth. It can be used in conjunction with the previous Flipple Technique. Have the thumb in position, as with the Flipple, just behind the areola and the supporting fingers under the breast but not too close to the lower jaw and post the “sandwich” into the baby’s mouth.

Natural Breastfeeding Program

This program was developed by two esteemed American experts; Dr Theresa Nesbitt, MD and Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA. The following is an exert from their introduction to their Programme:

"Wouldn't it be nice to feel confident that breastfeeding will be as easy as 1, 2, 3? Well, have no fear. When mothers draw upon their babies' natural inborn responses, the whole process becomes simpler. No more worries about nipple pain, milk production, and correct latching.

The biggest hurdle to Natural Breastfeeding isn't the technique, that really is as easy as 1, 2, 3: adjust your body, adjust your baby, adjust your breast. The biggest obstacle facing most new mothers-and often lactation consultants-is to let go of their preconceived notions of needlessly complicated breastfeeding holds and their pursuit of a proper latch. It's no wonder that many new mothers get overwhelmed. All those complications can make nursing a baby seem like it requires a nursing degree!"

https://www.naturalbreastfeeding.com/

The Dancer Hold

The "Dancer Hold" to support a mouth with low tone or recessed chin.
This technique helps stabilise the baby’s jaw and aid weak masseter (chewing) muscles (Riordan & Wambach, 2010).