Laid Back Feeding
Laid-back feeding, biological nurturing, whatever you want to call it, is heralded as the crème de la crème of feeding techniques for tackling breastfeeding with milk oversupply. But it can be used by all mamas as an alternative to the classic rugby ball and cradle methods. I used the technique with both my babies and had two very different outcomes.
Round One (ding ding)
The first time I had no idea about breastfeeding beyond the classic holds. Biological nurturing was suggested by my midwife to help with latch, a relaxing way to bond with the baby. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Even when I was smashing breastfeeding out the park with my second mini, I wouldn’t have described it as an enjoyable experience. The first time around I didn't nail it. It was winter, the milk was pouring out of me. Ironically, James Bay is playing on the radio.....
“Hold back the river, so I
Can stop for a minute and be by your side
Hold back the river, hold back”
We were hungry, grumpy and frozen. My boy struggled to latch and I felt like an incompetent failure....and sticky…. very sticky. I mean what is the deal with HOW sticky breast milk is? All I can say is Be Prepared!
I had not done any reading about the technique, no one showed me, I just went with that ‘mama instinct’ that everyone talks about. If I have learnt one thing – my instincts when stressed, suck! Needless to say after only a couple of attempts I gave up, frankly I’d run out of fresh bath towels!
Round Two (ding ding)
This time the gloves were off and having done my homework we smashed it. A breastfeeding consultant talked me through it, gave me some information leaflets. I did my own reading. With a better understanding, I bought into the ethos of the technique and was confident in it working. Plus it was spring and a tad warmer. The milk was still flowing but I was less bothered. D was a more relaxed baby than G, and I was a more relaxed mama ready to go with the flow. So here is my overview of biological nurturing, just in case you fancy a bash.
What is biological nurturing?
In the most basic sense it is feeding your baby whilst lying on your back. It helps over producing mamas slow the flow and thus the amount the baby gags; creating a comfortable, relaxed less frantic feeding situation.
Hint before you get started: have a helper. You will be stranded for about 45 minutes and will need someone to pass you your enormous bottle of water, your phone, your nipple cream. But don’t be afraid to practice on your own. This is a two person relationship; you need to get to know each other.
Step One: Pick the right setting. This is not for the quick feed in Starbucks. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for whacking the norks out whenever and wherever you need to, but biological nurturing needs to be in a calm, relaxed setting where you can both be starkers if required.
Step Two: Strip. I was topless (awkward first time around with a revolving door, my entire family staying and still healing from labour. Not to mention my lack of confidence in my body, my ability and myself). Be prepared for major leakage. If you are like me you will need a clean up crew worthy of CSI.
Step Three: Strip your mini right down, nappies probably best left on unless you are happy to run the risk of being shat on. The key is skin to skin – their chest on yours.
Step Four: You want to aim to be propped at 45 degrees, not completely flat. Allow your baby to snuffle about, finding a comfortable position for them. You can help them towards the nipple, hold the breast, whatever feels comfortable. Work together.
Remember - Don't panic if they don’t feed; try again another time. Eventually they will get it. Feeding isn’t something that happened naturally for me. Even when I managed to breastfeed it was a joint process; D took about two weeks to learn what to do and I took a lot longer!
Find out more on Laid Back Feeding:
For me the best help came from a Lactation Consultant who showed me what to do.
La Leche League biological nurturing
Let me know how you get on, if it worked for you or not. x