Guide to successful breastfeeding
How to breastfeed?
Although it’s considered the most natural thing in the world, breastfeeding can take a little time to perfect – that’s why we created our breastfeeding guide, with advice on successful feeding. For example, propping yourself up with cushions can help you feel more comfortable, while knowing how to help your baby latch on properly can make things easier for you both.
Breastfeeding is undeniably best for your baby and completely natural for you both. But like any new experience it can take a little time to master. So don’t be disappointed if you find things difficult at first. With the right technique and some practice, you’ll find that things soon get easier. With this in mind, we’ve put together some useful breastfeeding tips to make sure you’re on the right track.
There are a number of different positions you can breastfeed in. If one’s not working for you, try another. Often, if you lie back in a well-supported position with your baby on your chest, they will move themselves towards your breast to start feeding. Or you can do this lying on your side. Just make sure their head and body are in a straight line and that you support their neck, shoulders and back while they reach for your breast.
The lying position: Lie on your side and place your baby at breast height while supporting his back. Remember to use pillows.
The sitting position: Your You hold your baby close to you, his little head resting on your forearm and his back supported. You can also use pillows to help you.
Being comfortable will help your baby feed as well as possible. So, experiment with a few positions to see what’s best. Remember your comfort too, and make sure you’ve got a drink to hand as it can be thirsty work!
Following these tips can help with breastfeeding:
- Position yourself comfortably in a supportive chair or with cushions
- Hold your baby’s whole body close with their nose in line with your nipple
- Let their head tip back slightly so their top lip can brush against your nipple. This should help them open their mouth
- The back of the neck and shoulders should be supported but their head should be free to move around
- Once their mouth is wide open, bring your baby up to your breast (not the other way round)
- If your baby is latched on correctly their bottom lip will be curled back and the only visible area of your areola (the dark skin around your nipple) is above your baby’s top lip
- Their cheeks will look full and rounded as they feed. Also look out for movement around the ear – a good sign they’re swallowing
- Their whole body should be facing you during feeding, so make sure their tummy is against you at all times
- Let their arms move freely as they feed. You’ll find that allowing them to press or touch your breast will stimulate the milk
Tips to enhance your breastfeeding experience:
- Putting the baby to the breast as soon as he or she expresses the need
- Start with the breast opposite the one with which you finished the previous feeding
- During breastfeeding, breastfeed with both breasts (start with one and finish with the other).
- Support your back and neck with cushions
- Ensure your baby is properly latched on, this can ease nipple soreness
- Try to feed about 20 minutes but depending on each baby
- Gently wake your baby if they fall asleep while feeding (before 20 minutes of feeding)