Breastfeeding begins immediately after your baby is born. This first close contact greatly promotes breastfeeding. Straight after birth the baby is often awake, it will eagerly search for the breast and will want to suckle. The baby can be helped if needed by carefully supporting it under the soles of its feet so it can crawl or push itself up from the stomach and all the way to the breast. It will eagerly search for the breast and start suckling as soon as it is found.
Place the baby at the breast?
Firstly you should get as comfortable as possible so that your back and arms are supported. The baby should be lying with its stomach facing its mother’s stomach with its head bent a little backwards. This way its nose is automatically free of the breast.
A lot of babies are eager to suckle as soon as they feel the nipple against their cheek. If the baby is not reacting or is too sleepy, the suckle reflex can be stimulated by gently stroking the baby’s cheek and lips with the fingertips. The baby will then turn its head and search for the nipple with an open mouth. Do not stroke both cheeks as it will confuse the baby! The same sort of stimulation can be used if you find that the baby is either drinking slowly or is falling asleep at the breast.
Letting go of the nipple?
Get into the habit of taking the baby gently away from the breast. If the baby is pulled away in the middle of feeding, the mother’s nipples will become sore quite quickly. Instead, put the tip of the little finger in the corner of the baby’s mouth and he or she will automatically open his or her mouth. This will break the vacuum the baby creates in its mouth to suckle.
Is the baby getting enough milk?
New mothers are usually worried in case they don’t have enough milk. The amount of milk is not dependent on the size of your breasts, as both small and large breasts contain almost the same amount of mammary glands. Only the fatty tissue varies. On the other hand, it is important to believe in yourself and to want to feed. Your body has the capability to feed, so if it is not a success it is caused by outside factors.
Every baby is different and some have a greater need for feeding and contact. If the baby is gaining weight properly and wets the right number of nappies every day there is no need to worry, even if he or she wants to be fed often.
Baby is sleepy and doesn’t want to drink?
A lot of babies want to sleep all day. They dont drink much at all drink and only a little at a time. If the baby does not gain weight and does not wet six to eight nappies a day, he or she should be woken up and stimulated to drink every two hours, every day. Changing breast to breast every 10 minutes or so will maintain your babies interest.