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As mothers, we have an instant bond with our children. Something that really boosted that bond for me was the first time she latched on and started feeding. I was so nervous when I was first pregnant because I had NO CLUE how to breastfeed! There were so many books that I read and they all made it sound so… automatic. Breastfeeding isn’t all automatic, but some things are.
Will your baby automatically latch?
Well, that is what they are designed to do. But it isn’t always that easy. For me, doing the regular cradle hold wasn’t allowing her to get enough milk, causing her to be so fussy! I finally had a great nurse who did home visits for the first six months of my baby’s life to help me. It turns out, what works for one mom breastfeeding, may not work for another! In fact, two kids may not even breastfeed just alike! Here are some tips to help new moms!
Common Breastfeeding Positions:
Like I mentioned above, there are tons of different positions.
- The cradle hold is probably the most common. This is where you have the baby facing you, with their head in the crook of your arm facing the breast.
- The reverse cradle is similar, just that instead of having the baby’s head in the crook of your arm, you use your opposite arm. Your arm goes down across the baby’s back, and their head is in your hand. This is a great hold when you need to massage the breasts because of mastitis, or when you want to squeeze the breast to help your baby express more milk.
- The football hold is the one I swear by. It was the only one that allowed Sophia to get enough milk at first! With this hold, you have the baby at your side facing up, with her feet out behind you, holding up her head to your breast. Make sure you bring her whole body towards you and not just her neck and head!
- The lying position is perfect for section mamas or for the middle of the night feedings. With you lying down on your side, lay baby on their side facing you, with tummy’s touching, bring their head towards the breast.
Sometimes, moms have a really strong letdown. This means that your milk comes out very fast. You know this is the case if your baby seems to be choking on the milk or gasping for air. If this is the case, recline your body back and feed your baby, letting gravity help you.
How to Latch:
The key to breastfeeding is absolutely in the latch. If the baby isn’t latched correctly, they will not get the milk they need! You should not feel pain while breastfeeding! If you do, break the seal of your baby’s latch by inserting your finger between their lip and your nipple and try latching again!
- Find a comfortable position. It is easy to get an achy back or neck during feedings, so make sure to assume a good posture and sit where you are comfortable. Personally, I set up a nursing station in the nursery with a recliner and laptop loaded with Netflix.
- Bring your baby tummy to tummy with you. You want your baby to have good posture as well!
- Bring your baby’s mouth to your nipple. Never bring your breast to the baby because that will give you a bad back since you will be slumping!
- Gently rub your nipple across your baby’s lips. This coaxes them to open their mouth.
- When they open the mouth, place the baby’s bottom lip to the bottom of your areola. If the baby just gets the center of the nipple itself this won’t be enough and can cause pain. It’s okay for them to have more of the bottom of the areola in the deal than the top.
- Make sure your baby has their lips flanged outwards on the breast.
- Once you get your baby’s lip on the bottom of the areola, put the nipple in the mouth.
- If anything hurts or they do not get a good seal, break the seal and try again.
The hardest thing about breastfeeding is not knowing how much milk your baby is actually drinking. Just remember that as long as they have 8 pee diapers, pooping every day at first, and is happy, content, and gaining weight, they are getting enough milk!
Common Items Needed:
- Lansinoh TheraPearl 3-in-1 Hot or Cold Breast Therapy Pack
- Nursing Bras
- Lansinoh Ointment
- Nursing Pads
Breastfeeding can be a magical journey! But there can be a learning curve! What are your top tips for breastfeeding? Comment below!