Bob Monteverde is a lactation consultant at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh. Of course the first question he answered was the first question most people ask -- how did a guy become a LC? He recounted his time as a pediatric nurse in the military and some twists and turns with different patients and doctors that led him on his path.
I took away a great one-liner -- "It's not nipple feeding, it's breast feeding." I know a lot of women have flat or inverted nipples and some use shields, some pump first to draw out the nipple, but Bob's "Bob-ism" really reinforced what I knew already about the mechanics of breast feeding. If the latch is correct, the baby will draw out the nipple. The nipple shouldn't be anywhere near the front of the mouth (except in passing of course!).
(this is the type of blog post where I just cross my fingers that my dad doesn't read my blog today. Hi Dad!)
Another neat trick -- there's supposedly a pressure point on the baby's palm that triggers the suck reflex, and if mom or dad massage it while the baby's latched on it can encourage sucking. I wonder if that's why babies tend to do that hand-clasping motion so much, especially when they're nursing?
For me, this speaker reinforced my view that although childbirth and breast feeding are a woman's domain, when it comes to supporting those women, it matters a lot more what's in a professionals heart than what's in his skivvies.