How to breast feed your baby for the first time
If you’re here, it’s because you want to know how to breastfeed your baby – congratulations!
Breastfeeding is a beautiful way for mom to feed her little one while bonding. It can be challenging at times, but with the right information and support, it can also be easy and enjoyable.
This blog post will walk you through some of the basics of breastfeeding – from latching on correctly to getting comfortable in any position. You’ll find that breastfeeding has many benefits for both moms and babies alike!
Breastfeeding can be difficult in the first few weeks, with sore nipples and learning how much breast milk your baby needs, might be confusing; but these challenges will pass soon enough. You may not produce enough milk for 8 hours straight in the beginning, but this too shall pass as your body adjusts.
If you have any questions or comments about this blog post, please feel free to leave them below.
We hope this article will be helpful for new moms looking for information on how best to get started with breastfeeding their newborns!
1. Get comfortable – find a quiet, private place to breastfeed
Breastfeeding can sometimes be uncomfortable. When this is the case, it’s important to find a position that will make you and your baby feel as comfortable as possible during feedings. Some mothers like sitting in a reclined position with their infant lying on top of them while others opt for feeding while laying down on their sides with baby facing them.
When choosing which breastfeeding positions are best for you and your new arrival, keep these three things in mind: comfort level, ease of access (always making sure there’s no food blocking any part of the mouth), and bonding time between mother/baby!
2. Latch your baby on by supporting their head with one hand and guiding the nipple into their mouth with the other
Babies are not all the same when it comes to breastfeeding.
They may find one position more comfortable than another. It’s important for you to know your baby’s comfort level so that latching becomes less of a hassle!
Here are some useful latching tips (whether you’re reclining or laying down– find the right position that suits you):
- The baby’s body should be turned towards you in a way that the mouth will be in line with your nipple. While at it, ensure your baby’s whole body is supported by one of your hands.
- The baby’s head should be tilted slightly backwards so that the chin is touching the part below the aureola. This is to ensure your baby’s nose is free to breath.
- Using your free hand, hold your breast, use your nipple to tap your baby’s mouth wide.
- Once baby’s mouth is open, shove the whole black part of your breast inside. Don’t give the nipple when moving the baby to your breast, as it may result to soreness.
Note: On your baby’s first nursing session in hospital, a lactation consultant or nurse should help you get the hang of it.
3. Make sure that your baby has a good latch so they can get as much milk as possible (You can visit a lactation consultant)
You will know a good latch by the swallow-breathing rhythm your baby makes. Also, the mouth should form a circular shape around the areola.
Breastfeeding your baby means a good latch.
Good latches in a day should translate to 4-6 regular bowel movements or 6-8 changes of diapers, as a result of more milk production. Another sign of a good latch is if your baby is gaining weight. If you are worried about your breast milk supply, a good idea would be visiting a lactation consultant to learn how to latch correctly.
4. Keep your back straight and use pillows to support you if needed
You should consider purchasing a breastfeeding pillow to help you feed your newborn.
They make pillows with different shapes and sizes, so it is important that you find one that will best fit the shape of your body.
A good option would be an inflatable or foam nursing pillow because they are easy to move around without taking up much space while also being very comfortable for both mom and baby.
Also, if you don’t have a budget for a nursing pillow, use the one in your living room or bedroom to customize one.
5. Try not to worry too much about what’s happening – it will come naturally!
If you are a new mom, you will not get the hang of it right away.
The first few days will be hectic, especially when finding the most comfortable position for you and baby. But each time you respond to your baby’s cues, you will be more confident in nursing your baby.
As you prepare to latch your baby, find something interesting to do in order to get your mind off the tensed find-a-good latch situation. Read an interesting book, scroll down your newsfeeds or have a nice bubble bath.
Finally, there may be people around you as you try to find a good latch. These people may get frustrated at you for not knowing your stuff. Ask them to leave– they will just stress your breasts into not getting a let-down.
6. Once breastfeeding is established, adjust how often you feed based on the needs of your child and always make sure they are getting enough breast milk supply
Ideally, your baby could breastfeed every two hours. Your baby may also want to nurse after 3 hours since the last.
The American Academy of pediatrics advises, nursing the baby within the first hour after birth, so that they can get colostrum to build their immune system. From there, keep in mind, your baby will cue you for a feeding.
One of the cues will be rooting, meaning, baby moving head from side to side in search of breasts. Another is sucking of tongue to pacify themselves.
While breastfeeding every two to three hours is advised, it’s important to breastfeed on demand. Remember, immediately the baby is born, milk comes. If you don’t breastfeed, you may get painful breast engorgement.
Other breastfeeding tips
- Before your baby is born, find out from lactation consultants if you can see real moms breastfeeding their babies. Illustrations with dolls don’t work.
- In hospital, after having your newborn, ask the nurse if it’s possible to share a room with your little one in order to bond in those very first few hours.
- Wear a nursing bra: One that will be easy to open when baby demands a feeding. Babies get irritated when a feeding is delayed and transitioning a baby from a fussy state to a nursing state will be frustrating.
- Stay hydrated while breastfeeding. This is to prevent constipation and to increase breast milk supply.
- Before your baby latches on one breast, think of which breast you gave them to breastfeed last. For example, if at 1 pm you gave them right breast, then at 3 or 4 pm you will give the left breast.
- In the event of a breast engorgement, use a breast pump to help relieve you of the pain.
- Skin to skin contact while breastfeeding stimulates more milk production, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. So, use your hands to hold your baby close, or baby carriers that can help your breastfeed hands-free.
Related: Amazing benefits of baby wearing
- There are lactogenic foods to eat to boost milk supply.
When you’re breastfeeding your baby for the first time, there are a number of things to get right. Even if you have given birth before and have breastfed other children, it can still be challenging! That said, we hope our list of tips will help make having your little one close by as much fun as it can possibly be. What other breastfeeding tips do you wish people had told you when they were giving birth? Let everyone know in the comments section.