10 basics on ‘How to Breastfeed’

We as women are not magically born with the knowledge to breastfeed. Breastfeeding is natural …. but so is walking and talking and neither of those skills happened overnight!
Breastfeeding is something both mum & baby need to learn together. It takes time and persistence and sometimes a little extra help to get it right as it doesn’t always go smoothly in the beginning.
As a midwife you might be surprised to hear that P2B thoughts are a feed is a feed. Whether it be breastmilk, formula or even a little bit of both. You have to do what works for you! I would rather see a mum not breastfeed and enjoying her baby than a stressed mum struggling or not enjoying breastfeeding her baby and in turn resenting her baby.
  1. A good position and attachment is essential for successful breastfeeding. Find a comfortable position and make sure you have everything you need close at hand.
  2. Make sure baby is wide-awake. To assist with this strip your baby off to their nappy. This will assist in keeping your baby awake/alert.
  3. Hand express some milk before you attached your baby: this will soften the areola and make is easier to attach. The midwives in hospital will show you how to do this.
  4. Ensure your baby is ‘Chest to chest’. By this we mean your baby’s entire body is facing your chest.
  5. Bring your baby to your breast. Do not lean over by taking your breast to your baby. You MUST bring your baby to YOU.
  6. Your baby should have their mouth wide open. To make attachment easier …. your baby should be searching for the breast so tease your baby: ‘Make them want the breast’. Their bottom lip should be on the bottom part of the areola (the dark area around the nipple).
  7. Breastfeeding should NEVER hurt: if it does gently break the seal and try again. If you’re in pain, this is a sign that your baby isn’t correctly attached. Gently insert your finger between your baby’s mouth and your breast to break the seal. Then try again. If you carry on feeding while it’s hurting, you are likely to end up with sore nipples and cracked nipples. It takes one incorrect attachment to cause nipple trauma.
  8. Don’t swap sides unless your baby has taken itself off the breast, then offer the second breast
  9. Change sides each time you start a new feed
  10. You can be confident that your baby is getting enough breastmilk if they:
  • Have more than 6 wet nappies a day
  • At least 1 bowel motion a day
  • Your baby is settled after a feed
  • Your baby is waking for feeds
  • Your baby is putting on weight

Just because you have had a baby … it doesn’t automatically give you the knowledge on how to successfully breastfeed.  Although natural and obviously the best for our babies – breastfeeding doesn’t always come easy. Breastfeeding is s learned skill by both parties:  mum & baby.  It takes time, patience and plenty of practice.  It is essential to have the support of family and friends. Please contact Parents2b if you are having any breastfeeding issues


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