STEP 1: EARLY CONTACT
A baby’s contact with the mother’s skin should begin within the first hour after birth. This is when the rooting and sucking reflexes are strongest and will allow your breastfeeding hormones to kick in. Put your baby to your breast as often as possible during the first few days. For the first 3 days, before your actual breastmilk comes in, your body produces thick, yellow, nutrient-rich colostrum. This is very important for your baby as it boosts
his/her immune system with your antibodies, at the same time encourages your body to start producing breast milk.
STEP 2: CORRECT LATCHING
This is the key to successful breastfeeding but how will you know if your baby has latched correctly? It should not hurt but rather be a pulling
sensation. You should be able to hear and see your baby
swallow. Your baby’s entire mouth should cover the whole nipple and most of the areola. The nipple should be far back in baby’s mouth and his lips will be pursed outwards.
If it does hurt, you will need to unlatch him by gently inserting your little finger between his mouth and your nipple to break the suction and start again. Cradle your baby’s body against you, with his/ her nose facing your nipple and almost touching the breast. Lift your breast with your free hand and stroke your baby’s lips with your nipple until he/she opens his/her mouth very wide, almost as if yawning, gently place his/her mouth over your breast. You may need to attempt this a few times and if you are battling ask the nursing sister to help you. We all know that breastfeeding
is beneficial for both you and your baby, but that’s often much easier said than done. In truth the majority of new moms battle to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding doesn’t always come naturally – it is a skill which often needs to be learned, by both of you!
But once you do get the hang of it, breastfeeding will start to feel natural, giving you an incredible sense of accomplishment.
STEP 3: GETTING COMFORTABLE
By the third day your breastmilk will come in. The best way to get breastfeeding established – and to build up your milk supply – is to nurse as
often as baby demands. Make sure you are comfortable and feed in a
chair that offers good back support. Use cushions or pillows to prop up your arms; and if necessary, rest your feet on a footstool. If you are in bed, make sure your back has good support. You can also experiment with different feeding positions, such as:
❤ Cradle hold;
❤ Underarm or lying down.
There is no wrong or right position – whichever works best for you and your baby.
STEP 4: SUPPLY AND DEMAND
Your baby’s sucking stimulates the ‘let down’ reflex, which you may feel as a tingling sensation in your breasts. The first milk or fore-milk that comes out
in the first few minutes of feeding is mainly a thirst quencher.
For your baby to reach the calorie-rich hind-milk, you must let him/her completely empty a breast. If your baby is still hungry, offer the second
breast. Start feeds with alternate breasts to be sure both are emptied well.
The more milk your baby demands, the more your body will supply.
When feeding, don’t clock watch. The best feeding is a relaxed experience.
Some babies feed quickly, while others take their time.
Your baby will drink until he/she is full (your breast will feel empty).
A full or satisfied baby will release the breast on his/her own and be quite sleepy, indicating that he/ she has had enough breast milk.