Provider Member, N.E.W. Birth Options PMA

 
Breastfeeding Basics

Breastfeeding can be one of the most emotionally challenging, yet rewarding experiences a mother ever has the privilege to accept. And along with the relationship that is built between mother and baby, your baby will be getting the very best, complete nutrition that he/she can get.

Learning some of the most important aspects of breastfeeding before your baby arrives can help you to overcome challenges that might come your way.
I have provided these basic steps to assist you in getting a handle on breastfeeding, and encourage you to review them often in preparation for your baby.
1.   Prepare for Every Feeding
  • Find a relaxed, quiet location with a chair or bed that will support you comfortably. You will want to maintain good posture and support of your body.
  • Always have a glass of water with you as nursing will make you thirsty. Keeping up with your water intake is important not only for your health, but to help maintain a good milk supply.
  • Take a minute to prepare, close your eyes, take 3 or 4 deep breaths and allow your body to be as relaxed as possible.
  • Calm your baby through talk and cuddle. Let him/her know that you are there and it is time to nurse. You do not want him/her so upset that they can't get latched properly.
2.   Position Yourself
  • Get comfortable. Whether sitting or lying, support your back (with pillows if necessary). Use good posture, don't slouch or over arch your back.
  • Your back should remain straight and not turned to the side. Therefore, when you position your baby and support his/her head, be careful not to place baby in a way that you have to turn or twist your body to line up to your baby's mouth.
  • Support your breast with a free hand if necessary. Sometimes a little support can help baby to maintain a good latch throughout the feeding making everything more comfortable for both mother and baby.
  • Remember to keep your body and back well supported throughout the feed. Comfort and support are very important in maintaining a good latch and allowing your milk to freely flow. Good positioning and posture will also help your feedings to remain pain-free.
3.   Position Your Baby
  • Remember “Tummy to Tummy”. Place baby so that his/her body is facing yours and baby does not have to turn his/her head to latch onto your breast. Baby's head, neck, and back should all make a fairly straight line.
  • Baby should be elevated to your breast's level so that you do not lean over or slouch. Make sure your baby's arms and hands are tucked out of the way so they do not interfere.
  • Bring baby to the breast, not breast to the baby. Baby's nose should almost line up with your nipple so when baby comes to breast he/she takes more of the breast with his/her lower mouth.
  • Make sure baby gets a big mouthful of breast. If not, take him/her off and try again and again. You may need to run your nipple down baby's lips several times to prompt him/her to open wide. Baby's lower lip should curl/fold out and his/her chin should lie against the breast.
  • Make sure baby is well supported throughout the feeding so he/she does not have to struggle or work extra hard to eat.
4.   Sucking
  • Baby should suck in a rhythmic pattern that he/she creates. (ie: suck, suck, swallow, suck, suck, swallow) If baby is sucking rapidly and lightly without pauses to swallow, he/she is not latched well and will not get the necessary food, take baby off and try again.
  • It should not hurt for more than the first few seconds during the initial latch. If it does, take baby off and try again as many times as necessary to get a good latch. It may take quite a bit of practice in the beginning, but with a little bit of persistence you and your baby will enjoy many pain-free feedings.
5.   Timing
  • Do NOT watch the clock. Allow your baby to nurse until he/she is satisfied and removes himself/herself from the breast. If you are comfortable and both you and baby are positioned properly, waiting for time to pass should not be an issue.
  • Once baby is on well, just relax, enjoy your baby and enjoy your feed. You are doing something for your baby that YOU and ONLY YOU can do! Congratulations!
I want to do all I can to assist you in your breastfeeding success.
Please feel free to Contact Me at any time for a phone or one-on-one counseling session.
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