How to breastfeed.

Like anything breastfeeding works when you are comfortable so make sure that your back is supported, your phone in reach, the tv control is accessible, the book on the right page etc and let’s begin.

  • Babies feed best when they are calm, quiet and alert so if they are crying try and calm them down (sometimes feeding is the only thing that will do that!)
  • When you are in a comfortable position then begin.
  • If you are sitting then a pillow on the lap will bring the baby to the correct height so that your arms and back are supported. A footstool is also a good idea if you are feeding in a sitting position.  You want to avoid stooping over as this will cause unnecessary strain on your neck and shoulders.
  • Try and have as much contact with their body as you can – tummy to tummy is a great position.
  • Your arm supports your babys body, your hand supports them across the shoulders
  • Bring your baby to your breast NOT your breast to the baby. This can cause latching on problems as well as make you uncomfortable.
  • It may be easier to support your breast by sliding your hand under the breast in what is called a “U” hold or a “C” hold. In a “U” hold the hand is under the breast with fingers other side – holding NOT squeezing the breast and well away from the nipple area. With a “C” hold the hand is cupped to the side of the breast. Avoid putting pressure on your breast as this can lead to blockages in your milk ducts.
  • From newborn the baby will seek out the nipple (this is called rooting). If they are not doing this (which is absolutely fine by the way as we are all different!) then just gently brush your nipple from the tip of their nose down to their mouthing wait until it opens up like a  yawn (it actually opens 160º!).  Let the babys chin touch the breast first. You can also draw your nipple down from the nose to the his upper lip which prevents the bottom lip from being tucked in.  If the baby turns there head away, gently stroke the cheek nearest to you and the rooting reflex will make the baby turn their head towards your breast.
  • A good latch will feel comfortable – avoid pressing on your breast as this can cause blockages.  Make sure that the baby’s mouth is wide open and they have latched onto the nipple and aureole. See the diagram for why a good latch matters.
  • If the baby is swallowing and taking in milk then you should be able to see a good steady, rhythm.
  • Breastfeed on one breast for as long as your baby is feeding actively, then offer the other when they have finished (they may need to have a little snooze or burp first)
  • If you need to remove the baby from your breast before they have finished eating then break the seal they have created with their mouth by gently pressing the corner of their mouth. Do not pull them off as they will still be feeding and it will hurt you!