How To Breastfeed Your Newborn

If you are about to give birth, and you have decided you would like to give breastfeeding a try, you are about to embark on a wonderful bonding experience with your new baby. Breastfeeding is extremely beneficial nutritionally and it also can give you an emotional attachment to your newborn. Here are some tips you can use to get started with the breastfeeding experience.

After Delivery

It is important to try to breastfeed your newborn within a few hours of your delivery, if possible. This will allow your baby to bond with you right away, making the process of breastfeeding a little easier to learn for both of you. If there are complications where you are not allowed to, such as an emergency c-section, do not be upset. You will be able to catch up with breastfeeding practices when you are feeling better.

How To Start

After you have been able to look at your baby and your doctor has cleared the baby as being healthy, you will be able to breastfeed at any time. The first time you will need to coax your baby to suckle at your nipple by rubbing your nipple along the baby's.  lower lip. Your baby will instinctively open their mouth and you will be able to push the nipple toward the baby. It may take a few times before your baby starts a sucking motion with their mouth. Do not give up. Eventually you will be able to get your breast into their mouth so they will start to nurse.

Proper Positioning

When you first try to breastfeed, holding your baby cradled in one arm may be the easiest way to get started. Use the other arm to help direct the breast into your baby's mouth. If you had a c-section, you may want to try a football hold instead. This will allow you to hold the baby so that he or she is not resting upon your incision. A football hold is when you have the baby facing you, with their body lying along side your waist. You will be able to hold onto your baby with your arm, resting them against you as they are facing your breast to feed. 

Minor Setbacks

When you are first learning how to breastfeed, it is very easy to get frustrated. Keep this in mind as you are learning. If you are aware that it is difficult, it will help you because you will be able to talk yourself out of giving up. The first week is the most difficult. It will get easier as you keep breastfeeding.

You may have some pain in the beginning as your nipples are becoming accustomed to being used every few hours. Lanolin cream can really help ease any cracking or painful nipples when you are learning. It is safe to put on them before your baby nurses, as well.  You may have some times where your breasts are very full with milk and the baby has trouble relieving the pressure. Once your baby learns to cover the entire nipple and areola with their mouth to nurse, pain will ease.

If you are adamant about giving your baby the best nutrition, you can get through the hurdles in the beginning. Speak with a lactation consultant if you feel you need extra help for newborn care in continuing your feeding journey.