In the early days of breastfeeding, establishing a “good latch” is kind of like refueling a spaceship in midair: it’s a team effort, and everything has to line up just so, at exactly the right moment, and if you get it right, you save the day and everyone cheers.
The only difference is that the spaceship in this scenario doesn’t understand basic physics and has tiny but surprisingly strong hands that do EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER to prevent the fuel from reaching its intended target.
The fuel itself is also a bit temperamental and cannot be trusted. Instead of flowing with a nice, steady pressure at the touch of a button, it leaks out in spurts and streams without any apparent rhyme or reason, and the fuel tank on the left gets jealous if the fuel tank on the right gets emptied first. It decides to join the party, and shouts, “Look, I have fuel too!” And then it demonstrates: clothing, bed sheets, and strategically placed burp cloths be damned.
The worst part is that with breastfeeding, no one actually cheers when a successful refueling takes place. And even though it might comprise a pivotal, climactic plot point in a blockbuster space odyssey, it’s just business as usual when the spaceship is a baby, and you’ve got to do it again in like 90 minutes anyway…