Another common problem mothers face in breastfeeding is the baby's ability to latch on. This is definitely a learning process for both mother and baby.
Learning to hold and position the baby properly is only your end to help for your baby when breastfeeding. It takes two hands to clap, your baby still needs to learn to latch on, it is not an instant success for most baby.
All mothers will start finding fault on themselves when their baby is unable to feed successfully regardless of whether your are producing milk.
"My nipples too small or too big for my baby"
"My nipples are inverted"
"I'm not holding my baby correctly"
"I'm not producing any milk"
Do they sound familiar? These are some common personal fault finding mothers put on themselves when their baby can not latch on.
It doesn't matter if you are a first time mother or an experienced mother, the baby needs to learn to latch on and it takes time for your baby to master it. Some babies succeed with a few attempts, while others may take days. It also depends on your babies patience, generally hungry babies are impatient.
Getting your baby to latch on even when you are not producing milk yet is important as it will help to simulate the milk production.
All a mother can do is not to lose heart and but be persistent until your baby learns to latch. When they do, it will be worth the perseverance. Your baby will latch on eventually.
Until your baby learns to successfully latch on, it would also mean your baby will go without food. It is recommended not to bottle feed your baby during the learning process.
Once a baby is bottle fed, they tend to become even more impatient and the learning process to latch on becomes harder. If you must supplement with formula milk, use a syringe.
The issue now becomes are you starving your baby? You can read about this in my other article on Breastfeeding - Am I Starving My Baby? Take heart that your baby needs to learn to latch on and that it will take time for your baby to master it. Do not blame yourself but press on.
Seek help and encouragement from support groups and the nurses while you are at the hospital as it can be a heartbreaking process.