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15Shape Situation

The first thing to know about your sweet little one's mouth is how to feed it. Within the first hour of life, your baby will want to eat, and for many women that means figuring out how to breastfeed (about 70 percent of new moms try breastfeeding).

While babies have a natural instinct to crawl to their mother's breast, they may not know how to achieve the perfect latch, and even experienced moms can struggle in the first few attempts.

Sometimes the shape of the baby's mouth can affect breastfeeding. The baby could have a high arched palate or a cleft palate; the tongue could also cause problems, as could any abnormalities in the chin or jaw. In many cases, lactation consultants or doctors can help a mother and baby figure out how to get through the issue, such as trying a different position or using a special breast shield. Preemies often have trouble sucking at first, as well.

A baby with a mouth issue may have trouble breastfeeding, but that's OK, and bottle feeding is nothing to be ashamed of. Doctors will help in figuring out how to get the baby fed and growing.

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