Although it is the most natural thing in the world, breastfeeding can take a little time to perfect. Here are some top tips to help you on your breastfeeding journey.
Breastfeeding is undeniably best for your baby and completely natural for you both. But like any new experience it can take a little time to master. So don’t be disappointed if you find things a little challenging at first.
With the right technique and some practice, you’ll find that things soon get easier. We’ve put together some useful breastfeeding tips to make sure you’re on the right track.
Some tips when breastfeeding:
- Position yourself comfortably in a supportive chair or with cushions. A supportive V-shaped pillow can help
- Hold your baby’s whole body close with their nose in line with your nipple
- Let their head tip back slightly so their top lip can brush against your nipple. This should help them open their mouth
- The back of the neck and shoulders should be supported but their head should be free to move around
- Once their mouth is wide-open, bring your baby up to your breast (not the other way round)
- If your baby is latched on correctly their bottom lip will be curled back and the only visible area of your areola (the dark skin around your nipple) is above your baby’s top lip
- Their cheeks will look full and rounded as they feed. Movement around the ear is a good sign they’re swallowing
- Their whole body should be facing you during feeding, with their tummy against you at all times
- Let their arms move freely as they feed. You’ll find that allowing them to press or touch your breast will stimulate the milk
- It’s natural for your baby to pause during feeding. So if they stop do wait to see if they are just taking a break or if they are finished.
- Try to feed for 20 minutes at a time, from one breast. Gently wake your baby if they fall asleep while feeding (before 20 minutes of feeding)
- Painful feeding could be a latching issue, so changing positions may help. Slip your finger between your nipple and their mouth to gently dislodge them, and try to reposition them.
There are a number of different positions you can breastfeed in. You can try supported sitting, lying back with your baby on your chest, or lying on your side. Just make sure your baby’s head and body are in a straight line and that you support their neck, shoulders and back while they reach for your breast.
Being comfortable will help your baby feed as well as possible. Make sure you’ve got a drink within reach as it can be thirsty work!
Watch our video on breastfeeding positions below for some more information.