We often hear that breast-feeding is the most natural thing in the world but that doesn’t mean that it comes easily to everyone. It can be challenging, hard work and sometime uncomfortable. However it is also very rewarding and has multiple health benefits for you and your baby.
I wanted to share a few quick tips to help you on your way.
- Get off to a good start. An minimum of a hours uninterrupted Skin to skin from birth helps to regulate babies temperature, blood sugars, heartbeat and breathing. It also is a time for you to explore your baby in person for the first time. During this time babies will often naturally want to feed. They may start to stretch and crawl towards the breast. Sometime they head bob and lick at the breast. This is their way of searching and learning. This also stimulates the breasts and can assist with that initial breast feed. Skin to skin can be done at any time not just during “the golden hour” after birth and it literally means that, skin on skin no clothes, wraps or nappies. Just keep you and baby warm with blankets over the two of you.
- Know your baby’s cues. Babies cry for various reasons but especially when they want to communicate with you that they are hungry. Crying can often be one of the later feeding cues so look out for earlier signs such as lip smacking or hand to mouth or fist sucking.
- Be comfortable, You may be there for a while. Support your back and arms with pillows or cushions and always have a glass of water at hand, It’s thirsty business.
- Position and latch. There are a couple of different positions for breast feeding (Madonna or cradle hold, under arm or rugby ball hold or a lateral, lying down position. Use whichever works and feels comfortable for you. This may change over a period of time as your experience and confidence increases. Whichever position you choose here are a few Basic rules : tummy to tummy - that means that baby's tummy is against your tummy you shouldn’t be able to see your baby's belly button whilst feeding. Baby’s nose should be in line with your nipple. Baby’s chin need to be touching your breast. Wait for baby to have a wide mouth so that as much of the areola (the dark breast tissue around the nipple) is in the baby's mouth not just the end of the nipple. You will see the baby's bottom lip rolled down and outwards. You may experience initial pain as baby latches but this should ease as the baby settles into a rhythmical sucking action.
- Remember, You’re not alone. There is support out there for you to access. Your midwife, lactation consultants, mother to mother peer support, La Leche League etc.
Natures Touch has a natural, vegan friendly nipple balm to help alleviate the discomforts associated with breast feeding. Made using all edible ingredients meaning there is no need to wipe off before nursing. Free from lanolin and nut oils