Breastfeeding Tips: How to Breastfeed Your Baby
As a new mom, breastfeeding your baby might seem quite daunting - especially in the first few hours and weeks of your baby’s life. Whether you’re finding it challenging to get your baby to latch onto your breast or your breastmilk isn’t ‘coming in’ as expected, it’s important to remember that this is completely normal and something a lot of moms go through.
To make you feel more confident breastfeeding your baby, we’ve put together a few useful tips that will help you get off to the best possible start.
Tip 1: Start Immediately
Lots of new moms wonder when they should start breastfeeding their babies. The answer to this is to start immediately. It’s best to try breastfeeding your baby in the first one or two hours after birth. Skin to skin contact is the perfect way to encourage breastfeeding and to help your baby to get familiar with latching on your breast. Not only does skin to skin help you and your baby to bond, research has shown that it also helps to increase your milk volume as it boosts your milk-making hormone oxytocin—the hormone responsible for milk ejection.
Tip 2: Choose a Breastfeeding Position
It’s important to try out different breastfeeding positions to find out which one works best for you and your baby. Your preferred breastfeeding position may vary over time as your baby grows older and you also get more comfortable breastfeeding your baby. The cradle hold is one of the most common breastfeeding positions as it allows you to hold your baby with one hand and use the other to support your breast. Also, read our guide on 4 Breastfeeding Positions Every New Mom Should Try.
Tip 3: Help Baby To Latch On
If you’re struggling to get your newborn to latch onto your breast, you can make the process easier by helping your baby. As mentioned earlier, the cradle hold enables you to hold your little one in one hand and your breast in the other so that you can support and help your baby to latch on. Some moms find the sandwich hold very usual. With the sandwich hold, you squeeze your breast and hold it like a sandwich with your thumb supporting the top of your breast and your index finger supporting your breast from underneath.
The side-lying hold is another position you may want to try to get your baby to latch on. This hold is also great for moms who’ve had a cesarean section as it removes pressure from your abdomen by putting your baby to your side. It may take a few tries but don’t give up - You can do it!
Tip 4: Offer Baby Both Breasts
It is usually recommended to try to offer your little one both breasts - especially during the early phase of milk-making. Not only does that ensure your baby gets all the nutrition needed, but frequent feeding also helps to increase your milk supply. A mother’s body makes a supply of milk in response to the demand. However, don’t worry too much if your baby is satisfied after one breast. Just make sure you hand-express using a breast pump, especially if you experience fullness in that breast.
Tip 5: Seek Professional Help
If you’re still struggling to breastfeed your baby or get your little one to latch onto your breast, it’s always important to seek advice from your midwife, nurse, or lactation consultant. Breastfeeding is a beautiful experience and different for every mom. No matter the outcome make sure you enjoy your breastfeeding journey and bonding time with your little one.
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