Breastfeeding Vocabulary Lesson
So you want to breastfeed? Yay! Started reading blogs and your like... wtf is a latch? Nipple Shield? Let down? I had those same thoughts - so let me break it down for you.
Latch - this is how your baby feeds... he latches on to your breast, and suckles, triggering milk to flow. A good latch is HIGHLY important in the success and enjoyment of your nursing relationship with your babe. A deep latch, with lips flared out are what to look for! Check out Kelly Mom for some really good visuals.
Letdown - this was a CONFUSING one for me. This is what happens when the above trigger from the latch causes milk to begin flowing. It may feel different for others, but for me, it was a tingly feeling in my nipples. I'd start to feel it and look down, and yep -- milk flowing right out! It's pretty crazy to see at first! You can also trigger letdown without the baby latching - by either massaging your breasts manually or using a pump!
Nipple Shield - this is a plastic device that can help if you have flat or inverted nipples, or just trouble with the latch in the beginning. If you aren't sure about your baby's latch - I highly recommend talking to a lactation consultant!
Colostrum - this is what comes in before your milk (usually around the first 2 to 3 days after birth) and is super high in fat and EXACTLY what your baby needs at first! It is normally a darker yellow color than milk.
Hope this helps!