Some people may think that breastfeeding is an innate ability of mother and child. This is partially true in that the first instinct a baby has is to suck. However, most of breastfeeding is an acquired skill that takes a little practice. It’s important to not become discouraged, especially in those first few weeks. Learning the proper technique will ensure you get the least amount of discomfort and the most amount of joy out of breastfeeding. The two key parts to proper breastfeeding are positioning and latch-on techniques.
Having the correct position for both you and your baby will ensure the most comfort. First, position yourself as comfortably as possible. Remember, if you’re relaxed your milk flow will be much better. Sit up in bed on in a comfy chair, and get several pillows for support. Put one on your back, one in your lap, and one under the arm that will support your baby. Nursing pillows like the Boppy are very helpful. If you’re sitting in a chair, use a footstool to prop up your feet. For baby, start with him being lightly dressed or undressed. This will keep him from completely falling asleep so he can finish feeding. Position your baby’s neck on the fold in your arm let your forearm support his back and your hand his butt. Bring baby onto his side where he faces you tummy to tummy. Next, raise baby to breast level with a pillow and tuck away any little hands or arms. Now, wrap baby around you, and you’re ready for latching on.
The next essential part to successful breastfeeding is the proper latch-on techniques. Before you begin, express a little milk or colostrum and present your breast to baby. As soon as your baby opens his mouth wide bring him onto your breast. Make sure he takes in a lot of your areola, not just the nipple. This will greatly reduce any nipple pain. If baby’s lips aren’t everted (turned out), use your index finger to gently open the lips. Finally, support the weight of your breast so as to not tire out your little one.
Your spouse can take an active role while breastfeeding. I know as a father, I wanted to help my wife share the burden and joys as much as I could. I knew my wife was making the best decision for our baby. A spouse can be a strong support during this time. The spouse can help by rubbing Mom’s feet and shoulders to aid in relaxation. They can bring the baby to Mom during the night, so she doesn’t have to get out of bed. They can even help during the first few days buy helping baby latch on. Breastfeeding can be challenging, but is incredibly rewarding.
About the author:
Grant Carroll proud father and co-owner of http://www.littlepamperedbabies.com with Baby Clothes and Toddler Clothing. Also visit Little Pampered Pets where you can find Dog Clothes and Small Dog Sweaters