Breastfeeding is an art, and it takes practice!
Some people are naturals , get the method down patt really quickly and off they go, they are the lucky ladies . I kinda equal it to ladies who can eat whatever they like and stay thin….it’s just not fair ha ha.
So to get in the swing with breastfeeding it takes practice, mother nature just kinda chucks you in at the deep end! It’s not like you can practice before your baby arrives and then when they are here they need food NOW!!
Just one personal note before i post the link for help with latching your baby on for breastfeeding, when first born some babies can feed constantly. After i had my daughter (via emergency c-section) she fed constantly through the night, i mean ever hour through the night. The very unhelpful heath care assistant on the ward was like “no she can’t be, thats not right, you can’t be doing it right” Well yes she was and no i wasn’t!!!! How some people get jobs on maternity wards i don’t know, but just for other new mums out there yes new babies can demand great lengths of feeding!!
Anyway Baby centre is a great website with a depth of knowledge about pregnancy/ birth , breastfeeding etc and i have provided this link which helps illustrate the better way to lactch your baby onto your breast for breastfeeding.
Please anyone if you have any other methods or tips it would be great to post a comment , so to help other mums.
How to breastfeed: a visual guide
by Sally Inch
To breastfeed successfully, it doesn’t really matter where or how you sit or lie, as long as you are comfortable and able to bring your baby to the breast easily.
The relationship between your baby’s mouth and your breast – what we call “latching on” or “the latch” – is what really matters. Here are some ideas and pictures to help you latch your baby onto the breast successfully.
Sit comfortably, so that your back is supported and you are not leaning back.
Raise your feet if you need to, so that your lap is flat.
Think about using a pillow to take the weight of your baby, so that your arms are not doing all the work. Once you have had more practice, you can do without the pillow altogether if you prefer.
In order to feed well, your baby needs to use his tongue to scoop in a big mouthful of breast. Your baby’s bottom lip and tongue need to get to your breast first, and make contact with your breast as far from the base of the nipple as possible.
Bring him to your breast with his head tipped back, so that he is leading with his chin. With his head tipped back, let his lips touch your nipple
He will respond by dropping his lower jaw. Move him quickly and smoothly to your breast aiming his bottom lip as far away from the base of your nipple as you can.
Scooping in a big mouthful of breast lets your baby draw your breast deeply into his mouth, creating a teat from which to feed. Your nipple will then be right at the back of his mouth, at the point where the hard roof of his mouth gives way to the soft area. With a mouthful like this, your baby will be able to use his tongue smoothly and rhythmically against the under surface of your breast, and remove milk from the ducts.
His jaw will move up and down, following the action of his tongue, and he will swallow your milk as it flows to the back of his mouth. This should be a completely painless process for you, because your nipple will be so far back in his mouth that it will not be squashed or pinched by his tongue. His lower gum will never touch your breast, as his tongue will always be between them, and his top jaw does not move.
• Support your baby by putting your palm behind your baby’s shoulders and your index finger and thumb behind his ears; or cradle your baby’s head in your whole hand and push with the heel of your hand; or use your forearm to support your baby’s shoulders.
• Trigger the reflex response you need by letting your baby’s mouth brush your nipple. Your baby will find your breast by touch, not by sight or smell – although these senses probably play a part.
• Start to move your baby as you see his lower jaw start to drop – don’t wait until it is at its widest before you begin the movement. Once it is fully open, all it can do is start to close, and your baby will be unable to draw in the best possible mouthful.
• As you move your baby, watch his lower lip, not his top one. Try not to worry about his top lip, and whether it will get over your nipple. Provided that his bottom lip makes contact well away from the base of your nipple, his chin will indent your breast, and your nipple will move downwards slightly and be covered by his top lip. You will not see this happen, but you will know it is right by the way it feels and the way your baby behaves. Read our article, “How do I know if my baby is latched on correctly?” if you’re not sure.
• If you find it difficult to keep your baby’s hands out of your way, try wrapping him (swaddling) so that his arms are lying at his side. You will be able to get him closer to your breast.
• If you are supporting your breast with your hand (and most mums do this), keep your hand as far away from your nipple as you can – preferably back on your ribcage. Once your breast is supported, keep it still, and only move your baby.
To see all this in action, you could watch a DVD such as, from Bump to Breastfeeding which is distributed free of charge to all pregnant women in the UK. If you or your midwife don’t have a copy, you can watch it online atwww.bestbeginnings.info/video.
Reviewed February 2009
Sally Inch is a midwife. Since 1997 she has worked as the infant feeding specialist and Human Milk Bank co-ordinator for the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust. She runs a drop-in breastfeeding clinic at the John Radcliffe Maternity Hospital.