Basically, it is handing some of the control of feeding back to the baby and is very simple to do.
Firstly, we must have a calm baby, and mum must be in a comfortable position. Ideally baby will just have a nappy on and mum will have no top on. The whole process starts with some skin-to-skin contact. The neonatal reflexes are best stimulated when mum is in a semi reclined position. Most good armchairs work well.
For easy reference, we will refer to baby as ‘her’ while describing the BLA method. Baby is placed on mum’s tummy with her face between the breasts. When baby is ready to feed, she will lift her head and frequently do a bobbing motion across to the breast she is going to feed from. As she gets close, she may bring her hand to her mouth and then “feel around” with her hand and fingers, bringing them back to her nose and mouth until she finds the right spot. She will dig her chin into your breast, and reach up with an open mouth and latch on. During this time, you will be supporting her neck and shoulders with one hand and her hips with the other. One of the best things about this position is that it is a lot more comfortable than other positions you may have tried.
Obviously, this position cannot be used for every feed, but we would suggest giving it a go when the time is right. Other positions recommend now are those that still give the baby more control. Have baby in a jumpsuit or an all-in-one, and have them in a more upright position, rather than lying flat on a pillow. Let them use their hands rather than fighting them, and you will find that both yourself and the baby will be calmer and feeding will be more enjoyable.
Immediately following birth we encourage skin to skin contact where the baby is placed on the mother’s warm chest (covered with a warm towel or blanket) for the first couple of hours to promote bonding and breastfeeding. Our aim would then be to let baby-led attachment just begin in this warm and relaxed first couple of precious hours.
If your delivery becomes more complicated or a caesarean section occurs, we try our best in these situations to have skin to skin in the operating theatre and recovery room. If this isn’t possible for whatever reason, your baby skin to skin with your partner is the next best thing.
If you would like some more information please call reception to organise a chat with our Lactation Consultant Angela Smith or book into one of our lactation classes.