Many new parents worry that their nipples are not adequate for nursing their new babies. While breastfeeding/chestfeeding with flat and inverted nipples can be more difficult, especially if your baby also has challenges achieving a deep latch, nipple size and shape may be less of a concern than a parent may have anticipated. With ideal latch and positioning support, many people can nurse their babies just fine, despite non-protruding nipples. It might be reassuring to remember that babies latch onto the areola, not just the nipple and that they can even “pull” an inverted nipple out with good sucking.
While giving birth has always included many unknowns for expectant parents, COVID-19 has created more questions and confusion for many parents-to-be. Educating yourself about what to expect during labor in the pandemic will help you feel more positive, confident, and ready to bring your baby to this world. This may not be what you envisioned, but you can do this! These COVID-19 birthing tips will support you in having the best hospital birth possible given the uncertain circumstances.
Are you experiencing pain while nursing? Cracked nipples? Super long or very short feedings? Slow weight gain? Shallow latch? Challenges with bottle feeding? Gassy/acid-reflux baby? Possibly combined with slow weight gain for your baby? Tongue-tie might be the cause of the problem. Medically known as ankyloglossia, this condition, present at birth, can restrict the tongue’s range of motion so it may interfere with compression and milk removal.
Even before the pandemic shifted our entire lives to Zoom, lactation consultants have utilized telemedicine to reach families in the comfort of their own homes. For many of us, all our training, experience and continuing education allows us the ability to assess and support families with expert care–even remotely. Seasoned lactation consultants have witnessed so many babies nurse and feed. We have seen many cases of damaged nipples and mastitis, and we have supported countless families in meeting their goals and overcoming challenges. Our experience means we know exactly what we are looking for when a three day old newborn latches or when a nursing parent is healing from an infection.
Jada, boober founder, and maternal health expert shares her top tips to help birthing parents get off to the best start with breastfeeding. Her top tips include:
Watch Jada Shapiro, doula & boober founder, in conversation with Jill Blakeway, a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, a licensed and board-certified acupuncturist, and clinical herbalist and founder of the Yinova Center. New York Times described her as a “fertility goddess” and named her as one of Manhattan’s top acupuncturists. They cover various pain perception and management techniques during pregnancy and labor including breathwork (including tips for coping with required mask use), acupressure points, and positions that can help. Acupuncture, visualization, and doula care (both in-person and virtual) are discussed.
Pain-coping skills are life skills, not just labor skills. The more they are practiced, the more easily they can be accessed and used during labor.
Acupressure requires physical pressure to be applied to points that run along the body’s meridian system. A number of recent studies have shown the ancient medicine’s effectiveness for making labor a little shorter and reducing pain.
Watch this video with Jada Shapiro, boober founder & maternal health expert in conversation with International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Julie Rosen, IBCLC. The two experts discussed all things infant feeding: breastfeeding, pumping, and more during COVID-19. New parents had a chance to ask questions and solve challenges.
The lactation professional helps the new mom breastfeed in a more comfortable way. First, she places a pillow under the baby, so that the person can relax. She then places a baby blanket in between the baby and pillow to give a little bit extra support. Finally, she adds a thick burp cloth under baby’s head to provide additional support. Adjusting the position can significantly improve breastfeeding pain too. So ideally 1) position yourself comfortably (your back, your arms, your baby), 2) position baby close to you, 3) support your breast and then latch your baby onto your breast. Note: every situation is different and struggling breastfeeding parents should seek professional help as early as possible. Watch our video below: