Breastfeeding is supposed to be one of the most natural things a new mum can do – but is it really? New mums have been doing it for millions of years but that doesn’t mean that it’s always easy, especially if this is your first shot at it. MumAffairs’ guide to breastfeeding will help you get it right.
The first thing you need to do is position yourself correctly. Make sure you are sitting in a comfortable chair. Place a pillow behind your back and on your lap to support your baby. It’s important that you are relaxed and comfortable. Your baby should be lying sideways with their face positioned towards you and with their head level with your nipple. Use your fingers to support your breast as you offer the nipple to your baby. Make sure your fingers are out of the way so they don’t interfere when your baby latches onto your nipple.
If your baby turns his head away from your nipple, gently stroke his face (on the side closest to you). This will cause your baby to face towards your nipple. To get your baby to open his mouth, gently rock him towards and then away from your nipple. When your baby’s mouth is open wide, gently move him towards your breast (chin first). You need to make sure that your baby’s bottom lip and tongue make contact with your breast first. Once he latches on, hold him firmly against your breast.
To suck properly, your baby will need to squeeze the area behind the nipple with his mouth. When your baby is finished nursing off the first breast, put your finger around your baby’s mouth to release the sucking, and offer the other breast.
Aim to breastfeed for 30 to 45 minutes per breast 8 to 12 times every 24 hours.