In 2003 I attended a conference in Canterbury and heard Suzanne talk about the instinctive way some mothers hold and feed their babies, and saw video evidence of self-directed feeding behaviour. When Suzanne spoke in 2004 at another seminar, I was fascinated by how babies did not need to be fully alert to feed well. Now I have a way of seeing what the baby would prefer! My help has become much more a facilitation and a working with mother and baby, encouraging them to tap into their instincts.
If baby is more comfortable, feeding becomes much better, and less help is needed-thus empowering the mother. Babies often appear more comfortable when mother lies back, as their weight rather than the pressure of mother's arms is holding them to the breast. They are much freer to move around and show a preference for one side or the other. Mothers are often amazed at how well their babies can move their heads, and become more instinctive themselves as their need to hold the head subsides. The pressure on their perineum is also relieved! I encourage mothers to offer the breast frequently and not to wait until baby is fully awake - as by the time he is at the breast, he may be too stressed to feed well.
The result is that many babies attach themselves as they are waking up, in a more instinctive way. With the right tongue movement, and with the chin buried in the breast, there is no slippage and tension on the nipple, so the breast drains better.
Alison Blenkinsop, RM, DipHe, IBCLC and Infant Feeding Advisor.