Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world and the most beneficial way to feed your new baby. While many new mothers are apprehensive about learning how to breastfeed, awareness of the importance and benefits is growing. Some women take to breastfeeding very easily and naturally while others struggle to get their new baby to feed. The goal of this article is to explore the best and easiest ways to breastfeed your baby.
Sit up straight. It’s much easier to get your baby to latch on the first few times if you’re sitting up straight and you’re comfortable. Find a cozy chair or use pillows to prop yourself up into a comfortable position. Cradle your baby in your arm with his or her head resting on the inside of your elbow. Your baby’s entire body should be turned toward you so that he or she can feed comfortably. The baby should be in the perfect position to reach your breast comfortably. Learn more at http://www.ehow.com/video_2201818_positioning-baby-breastfeeding.html.
Hold your breast. In order to help your baby feed, it’s important to hold your breast with your thumb and forefinger. Make a ‘C’ using the thumb and forefinger and gently grip your breast behind the areola. You can use this hand to help guide your breast into your baby’s mouth for feeding. This will also help you support the breast as your baby feeds, although you should keep the breast as close as possible to its natural position while the baby feeds.
Help baby latch on. Make your baby face your breast by stroking the side of his or her cheek. This will make them turn toward you, searching for the food. By touching your nipple to the baby’s mouth, you should make him or her open their mouth wide in anticipation of receiving food. You may have to do this a number of times in order to make the baby open his or her mouth wide enough to latch on.
When the baby opens his or her mouth very wide, quickly pull him or her into your breast. The goal is to get as much of your breast into the mouth as possible. You may need to move the baby’s legs slightly in order to settle him in comfortably. You will know when the baby is latched on properly because he or she will be satisfied feeding, and it should not be painful at all. Learn more at Ask Lenore. See “Additional Resources” for link.
Notice baby’s sucking patterns. Once you’ve gotten your baby latched on, you can watch the sucking patterns to ensure that he or she is getting enough milk. As your baby first starts feeding, he or she will most likely suck very vigorously, so that you can see the sucking in the jaws and notice your baby swallowing rapidly. As his or her belly begins to fill, the sucking may slow down. If your baby naturally lets go of your breast, offer him or her the other one.
By using the steps above, you can naturally learn to breastfeed your baby and you both can enjoy the natural benefits of bonding and nutrition that comes from breastfeeding.
- If you have any concerns about whether your baby is getting enough breast milk, contact your physician or medical professional for advice.