Breastfeeding is something that you get better at the more you practice it, but to make things a bit easier for you, we’re offering some breastfeeding tips that can help you find greater comfort and get better results when nursing your baby.
Support your body: Most breast feeding positions require that you choose a comfortable chair with armrests or use pillows to prop your arms and back up properly. You will want to place a few pillows, a footstool, a coffee table, or a stack of books under your feet to keep yourself from bending toward your baby while breastfeeding, as you must sit up straight for almost all breastfeeding positions. Regardless of which position you use, make sure that you bring your baby to your breast rather than the other way around.
Support your baby: Make sure that your baby is in a comfortable and secure position while breastfeeding it by using your arm and pillows to keep your baby’s head, back and hips in a straight line.
Support your breasts: Since your breasts become bigger and heavier during lactation, you might want to support them to get them in a position that facilitates nursing. Use your free hand when nursing to support your breast. You can use a V-hold, which involves supporting your breast between your splayed index and middle fingers, or a C-hold, where you keep four fingers under your breast and your thumb on top.
Vary your routine: You will need to try out different nursing positions before you settle on one that you feel most comfortable using. Experts suggest that regularly alternating between breastfeeding holds helps prevent clogged milk ducts, because each hold puts pressure on a different part of your nipple. You can avoid getting sore nipples this way as well. Alternating between breasts during every feeding also helps boost milk production.
Unlatch your baby properly: Generally, your baby will let go of your breast once it has had enough to eat, but when you need to alternate breasts or want to end a feeding you might have to unlatch your baby yourself. To do so, gently insert your finger into the corner of your baby’s mouth to break the suction. Once you’ve done this, you can pull your baby away from your breast.
Master latching your baby onto your breast:
There are several steps involved in properly latching your baby onto your breast, and these are as follows:
1. Seat yourself comfortably and position your baby at your breast.
2. Support your breast and lightly tickle your baby’s lower lip with the nipple.
3. Patiently wait for your baby to open its mouth wide before quickly pulling it onto your nipple. Try to get as much of the areola into the mouth as possible. This might take a few tries. Note that you must bring your baby to your breast and not the other way around.
4. Judge whether your baby is positioned correctly by whether its nose is resting on top of the breast. If this is not the case, try again.
5. Listen for swallowing. If your baby is feeding properly you will notice a sucking motion with pauses in between.
6. If your baby is restless while feeding, it might need to burp. In this case take it off your breast by breaking the suction, let it burp, then latch it on again.