I’m a fortunate one, breastfeeding has been about as easy as could be expected. I had once or twice that I got so frustrated I wanted to cry. I also had a nipple that cracked but healed pretty quickly. Unfortunately I’m the only one of my friends or even friends of friends that’s managing to keep at it. Most gave up after 4 weeks and my heart just breaks for them. I think they would have benefited from this spiel about babies’ feeding types. I wish I had read it a lot sooner than I did. It’s from my pediatrician and was given to me in the hospital along with a huge pile of other pamphlets and paperwork and I didn’t read it until weeks later. I wish I’d have read this before even going to the hospital.
You’ll laugh at #1 & #4, and probably know a distressed mother with a #2 or #5. Or maybe they’re only entertaining because I’ve seen all these in Monkey though he’s predominantly #3 minus the screaming – he’ll get so happy and smiley he can’t actually latch or will fall off to giggle before really getting started, he combines all this with #4. I laugh at him.
(1) The Barracuda
Barracuda babies vigorously and promptly grasp the nipple and suck energetically for 10 to 20 minutes. Barracudas don’t dally. Be careful of sore nipples.
Procrastinators put off until the 4th or 5th post-delivery day what they could have done from the start. They wait until the milk comes in to become interested in sucking. There is no need to prod or force the procrastinators, they do well once they start.
(3) Excited Ineffectiveness
These infants become so excited and active at the breast they often lose grasp of the nipple and start screaming. It is often necessary for the mothers of these infants to calm or quiet the baby before putting the baby back to the breast. In a few days the infant will become well adjusted if you are patient and do not become “unraveled” by your baby’s initial attitude.
Gourmets (or mouthers) insist on mouthing the nipple and smacking their lips before nursing. If these infants are hurried, they may become furious. If left alone they will settle down to serious nursing in a few minutes.
Resters prefer to nurse a few minutes and then rest a few minutes. Nursing will take longer than with other infants. Don’t try to hurry them.
Please share this with expectant moms and new moms so that they know, but also share it with experienced moms so they can laugh and remember.