As a Registered Nurse and Certified Lactation Specialist, I frequently get called for consultations. I hear lots of worries from Moms trying to soothe their infants!
Why won’t my baby feed? Is my baby in pain? What am I doing wrong?
Sometimes mothers may find their baby’s behavior puzzling or worrisome.
However, I’ve found that the majority of issues resolve when we use research-based practices and keep things consistent. Everybody knows when Mom isn’t happy, nobody’s happy! Ergobaby knows that a Mom isn’t happy if her baby isn’t! Today I want to share with you my Top 2 ‘Must-Dos’ with Ergobaby products: frequent skin-to-skin contact and proper positioning.
Frequent skin-to-skin contact
No matter what the issue and the assessment plan includes at a consultation, undoubtedly I will recommend an increase in skin-to-skin time between feedings. This practice has been studied extensively and the benefits are astounding. Skin-to-skin contact can help regulate an infant’s vital signs like temperature, heart rate, and respirations (1). It also can help stabilize infant blood glucose levels and ease newborn anxiety by reducing mom/baby separation time (2). Skin-to-skin contact also reminds infants of the closeness of the womb, and helps ease the transition to the outside world (3). Skin-to-skin contact can be done in a bed, on a couch, recliner, or on the go while babywearing. I used an Ergobaby carrier with both of my kids to continue skin-to-skin contact when I was on the go. I could keep my infant close and receive the benefits of skin-to-skin while also attending to my 18-month-old.
No matter what position you choose to feed your baby in, the same techniques should apply. Keep your infant’s head in line with his or her torso and trunk. You always want to be in the tummy-to-tummy position. A common mistake that I see is the infant’s chest is facing the ceiling while the head is turned trying to feed. Have you ever tried to turn your head and take a drink? How about swallow? It’s much more comfortable when your head is in line with the rest of your body. I recommend the Ergobaby nursing pillow all the time because its design sets you up for positioning success. The curve of the breastfeeding pillow acts as a wedge to support baby and keep him/her positioned towards you in tummy-to-tummy.
- Moore ER, Anderson GC, Bergman N, Dowswell T. Early skin-to-skin contact for mothers and their healthy newborn infants. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;(5):CD003519.
- Mörelius E, Theodorsson E, Nelson N. Salivary cortisol and mood and pain profiles during skin-to-skin care for an unselected group of mothers and infants in neonatal intensive care. Pediatrics. 2005;116(5):1105-1113
- Ferber SG, Makhoul IR. The effect of skin-to-skin contact (kangaroo care) shortly after birth on the neurobehavioral responses of the term newborn: a randomized, controlled trial. . 2004;113(4):858-865.