Getting off to a great start: 3 classic tips
- Begin feeding during the first hour after birth, while baby is awake and alert but not crying. Remaining skin-to-skin with your baby will help immensely!
- Correct positioning and latch-on (See below)
- Feed baby ON DEMAND and at least 8-12 times per 24 hour period.
Breastfeeding holds and positions
Laid back breastfeeding or Biological breastfeeding: baby is placed on your chest with his head near your breast while you are in a semi-reclined position. Your whole body is supported by pillows, including your neck and head. The baby will instinctively find your nipple as you guide him towards that area. Good for: quick let down, tired mom, getting into a comfortable position that will aid in your own relaxation.
Find more info at biologicalnurturing.com
Football hold: Baby’s head is at your breast and his body is along the side of your body, somewhat like you are holding a football. Your hand supports his head while your opposite hand holds your breast in a U shape and presents the areola to the baby.
Good for: short frenulum, short tongue, receding chin, C-sections, premies.
Cross-Cradle: Baby lies across your abdomen, one arm holding his head in place and running down the length of his body. Your other hand presents your breast in a C shape.
Good for: newborns and premies.
Cradle Hold: Baby’s head rests in the crook of your arm and his body along your forearm. Your opposite hand presents the baby your breast in a C hold.
Good for: once baby has a good latch and you are an old pro!
Side-lying: Mother and baby lie facing each other. Baby’s head is on your bottom arm. Good for: more nighttime sleep (!), nap nursing, once baby has a good latch.
Find more information and great illustrations at http://www.llli.org/faq/positioning.html
- Compress breast gently in C or U hold so that areola is somewhat flattened (once baby is an old pro you may or may not have to do this still)
- Tickle baby’s lips with nipple, when he opens his mouth pull him towards you and fill his mouth with areola
- Support baby at the base of the neck, not the top of the head
- Lips should not be curled in, although you can use you finger to correct that once latched by pulling baby’s chin down
- Tongue should be forward over gums
- If you feel pain, detach baby and try again.
- RELAX Momma, you are doing great!
Signs of adequate intake
Mothers and fathers alike are all worried about their breastfeeding babies when it comes to making sure he or she is getting enough milk. Ideally, you would have a scale available 24 hours a day, but for most of us this is not the case. Make sure you check output, which, according to many books and breastfeeding resources, is a great way to tell if baby is getting enough to eat. Look for at least 6 wet and 3-4 poopy diapers per day, depending on the age of the baby. Light yellow urine, a baby who is satisfied for 1.5-3 hours after a feeding, and breasts that are noticeably lighter after a feeding are also signs your baby is well nourished. Kelly Mom is a great Web site that can answer questions in regards to normal newborn breastfeeding activity.
If you are ever concerned, you can contact your pediatrician, an IBCLC, lactation consultant, or your local chapter of the La Leche League.