There are many important steps to a joyful breastfeeding experience for you and your newborn infant. Here are some valuable tips from women’s healthcare professionals and experienced moms that will help you and your child get off to a terrific start.
How to Breastfeed
- Snuggle your baby closely, and start to breastfeed him as soon as possible after birth.
- Sit or lie comfortably, using a pillow or two for support if necessary.
- Relax and bring the baby to your breast, supporting the baby’s neck and shoulders gently, but firmly.
- Support your breast by holding four fingers underneath, with your thumb on top. Express a few drops of milk into the baby’s mouth – you’ll be surprised how quickly the smell and taste will get his attention!
- Rest the baby’s chin on the breast, nose to nipple until his mouth opens wide and he moves his head back to take a mouthful. When the baby feels the nipple with her tongue he will close his lips over the areola and nipple and form a seal.
- The baby may rest a bit between swallows, and then suckle more deeply and rhythmically.
- To take the baby off the breast, gently place a finger in the corner of his mouth until the suction is broken.
- Burp your baby and offer the other breast.
- There are many breastfeeding positions and, with practice, you will find the one that is most comfortable for you and your infant – a good rocking chair may be ideal. If you had a caesarian section, you may need help from a lactation expert, nurse or family member to position your infant for feeding.
Your Baby Wants to Eat All the Time
When your infant nurses frequently, more than eight times in 24 hours, a copious supply of milk will be generated. Your baby will gain weight at an even pace and is less likely to become jaundiced. Let your baby “latch” whenever he or she seems interested. Babies indicate they would like to suckle by sticking out their tongues, putting their hands in their mouths, chewing on their blankets or sucking even though they just ate.
A Comfortable Latch
While your nipples may become tender in the first few days, you should not experience any damage. A comfortable latch is when the baby has the nipple and the entire areola in his. If this hurts you, seek help with a medical professional – both the Florida Hospital and the SouthLake Hospital have lactation experts – or consider joining a new mom’s breastfeeding group. Participating in such a group can help you address challenges and create friendships that last a lifetime.
Keep the Baby Awake While Nursing
Just like you, babies are often exhausted from the childbirth experience, so they may be sleepy eaters for the first few days. If the baby continually falls asleep after a few suckles, he is not doing the important job of drinking colostrum and stimulating your breasts to produce milk. Rub his head or feet, raise his arm, and firmly massage his back to keep him awake and taking in nourishment. This is a wonderful time to make eye contact with your infant and bond with him in a way only a mother can.
Get Expert Help
At SouthLake OBGYN in beautiful Clermont, we are here to help you. Our doctors and talented nursing staff will be glad to answer your questions and help you with any breastfeeding hurdles you encounter.
Florida Hospital also offers a low-cost, breastfeeding class for expectant and new mothers. See the schedule and register, or register for Individual consultations and breastfeeding classes at South Lake Hospital.