You've found a comfortable place to nurse. You know there's plenty of milk, and you know baby is hungry. You finally get your little one comfortably latched, and settle in relief when suddenly — nah, no thanks, Mom. Why oh why does baby unlatch? And then re-latch? And then latch again? Are they hoping a different, tastier beverage will come out the next time? They're like, Alright...maybe this time it will be Yoo-hoo. Nope. OK, let's try again. Raspberry Icee this time? Nope. Alright one more go... Not only is this little hop-on-hop-off routine frustrating, it can be painful. There is no ouch quite like the ouch of when your baby suddenly jerks their head, seeming to forget that your nipple is in fact still in their mouth.
I reached out to Jada Shapiro for some insights on what can be a baffling aspect of breastfeeding: the ol' repeated unlatch. Shapiro is a maternal health expert and founder of boober, a platform that connects expectant and new parents with in-person expert pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care providers. She reassured me that the unlatch and re-latch isn't just a baby's way of playing weird head games with you, and that there are actually many reasons a baby might suddenly hit pause when nursing.