Hello and welcome to your breast feeding journey. We’re happy to have you here. Making the decision to breastfeed is a personal matter, but a great one! There are so many benefits to breastfeeding for your baby and you. Let’s get into it, were here to give you some tips and advice.
First and most importantly, remember that you and your baby are a unique pair and although you may have a goal to how long you want to breastfeed for, sometimes it may not last for as long as you’d like – due to lack of milk supply, baby not latching, or whatever it may be. But don’t be hard on yourself. It’s completely normal, and nothing to be ashamed of.
So, to start – you always want to anticipate your baby’s desires to breastfeed. It’s best to let them determine how often and how long THEY would like to nurse for. Feeding on your baby’s cues actually helps maintain your milk supply as well. While in the hospital, it is SO important that you let the nurses and doctors know what YOU want. Having your baby in the room with you at all times will help with feeding, getting to know what your baby’s cues are for feeding, and just getting to bond with them.
You always want to be in a comfortable space while breastfeeding. Before baby arrives, try creating a ‘nursing space’, that includes a comfortable chair with a nursing pillow, a side table with room for nursing pads (for leakage, because that will occur), water and snacks for you, burp cloths, and maybe even a good book! You will spend a lot of time there.
It is best to avoid pacifiers at first. Pacifiers may confuse the feeding cues and steal time away from breastfeeding.
The latch. Making sure your baby has a good strong latch on your while breastfeeding is important to ensure that they are getting a good flow of breast milk, and makes it easier on you. To ensure your baby has a good latch, follow these steps:
- Make sure your baby’s head is facing towards you, making sure that your baby doesn’t have to twist or stretch out their neck to get to you.
- With one hand, gently cup your breast and stroke your baby’s lip with your nipple, your baby’s reaction will be to open their mouth wide.
- Always make sure that with your other hand, you are supporting your baby’s neck. After your baby has opened their mouth ready to feed, bring your nipple towards their mouth. You will know when your baby has latched when their lips are pursed around your breast, and your nipple is inside their mouth.
- Be patient while trying to get your baby to latch. Once your baby is feeding – allow them to feed for as long as they intend to. And there you go.