Some moms struggle with breastfeeding, here are some helpful tips
AMERICAN FORK, Utah – August is breastfeeding awareness month and for some mothers who want to breastfeed, it doesn’t come easy.
New mom, Michelle Jackson said she and her two-month-old son Jason have had their ups and downs with breastfeeding.
“At first it was great,” she said. “But once we got home, and the honeymoon phase was over it was really hard and painful.”
Jackson said when they got home, “There were nights where he was hungry, and I would always get kind of nervous or scared, like, I know it’s going to be painful, so I was hesitant.”
At that point, she knew she needed help so she contacted Laura Rowbury, a lactation consultant at American Fork Hospital.
For babies having trouble latching on, Rowbury said adjusting your position and increasing skin-to-skin time will help.“That tends to bring back those feeding cues,” she said, “For moms, it’s important to start paying attention to when that baby is showing those hunger cues, when they’re licking their lips, stretching, trying to put their fist in the mouth, that all says, ‘hey mom, feed me.’”
Rowbury said over 90 percent of new Utah moms try breastfeeding, but after six months the number of moms still breastfeeding is under 60 percent.
“A lot of that is just moms who give up,” she said. “I see moms all the time who will send me notes later and say, ‘I’m so glad that I saw you. That made the difference.’”Jackson said reaching out made a huge difference for her.
“He just keeps getting better and better at eating,” Jackson said. “At the beginning, he used to need more of my help to latch on, and now he just quickly has the hang of it.” Jackson said breastfeeding had a lot of benefits for her, but most important she said it has helped build a stronger bond between her and Jason. “Now he instantly recognizes my face and I’m just getting those smiles,” Jackson said. “It makes me feel a lot closer to him, and I definitely think it has helped me avoid some of those stronger symptoms from postpartum.” Rowbury said breastfeeding offers other benefits for moms – such as a lower chance of breast and ovarian cancer and lower blood pressure. For babies, Rowbury said it lowers the chance of respiratory and ear infections and may decrease their chances of obesity when they are older.
Rowbury recommended contacting a lactation consultant for advice if you are struggling with breastfeeding.
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