Quick Breastfeeding Tips
New mothers may find breastfeeding confusing at first. You may not know exactly what to do or how to do it. Hopefully these breastfeeding tips will help to get you started.
Start Early. It is good to begin breastfeeding within an hour after birth if possible, when the baby is alert and the instinct to suck is strong. Although you will not yet be producing milk, your breasts contain colostrum, a thin milky fluid that contains important antibodies to disease.
Feed Frequently. You should try breastfeeding your baby at least every two to three hours. This will help to keep your breasts soft and lessen or even prevent engorgement. Watch for signs that your baby is hungry, such as changes in facial expressions, sucking sounds or lip movements, and rapid eye movement or restlessness during light naps. If you keep an eye out for these signs, you can learn to anticipate your baby’s hunger. Breastfeeding on cue will help stimulate your breasts to produce more milk.
Good Positioning. Having the right positioning for breastfeeding will play a major role in reducing nipple soreness. Use your hand to support the baby’s neck. The baby’s mouth should be open wide with the lips puckered out like “fish lips,” not folded in. The nipple should go back as far into his or her mouth as possible. If you need help finding the proper positioning, ask a nurse, midwife, or other experienced mother for some help breastfeeding.
Nipple Upkeep. When you first begin breastfeeding, your nipples may become very sore. After each breastfeeding session, rub a small amount of breast milk on and around each nipple and allow it to air dry. This will help to prevent cracking, which can lead to infection. In cases where your nipples do crack, coat them with breast milk, vitamin E oil, or lanolin to help them heal. Be aware that some babies may have an allergic reaction to certain moisturizing agents. Proper positioning while breastfeeding is very important to avoid sore nipples.