Breastfeeding is the most natural nutrition for your child. But just like the right breathing techniques during birth, breastfeeding must be learnt.
Step-by-step guide to becoming a breastfeeding champion
- Breastfeed the baby whenever it is hungry. That signals to your mammary glands to produce more milk. Thus, the amount of milk adapts to the needs of the child.
- Find a comfortable and quiet spot where you can breastfeed undisturbed.
- The baby’s head should be in the crook of your arm, and its body on your lower arm. Your hand should hold the baby’s bottom. With your free hand, hold the breast with the thumb above the areola, the other fingers underneath. Guide your baby to the breast, making sure its nose stays free.
- Correct latching on is important: touch the nipple gently to the baby’s lips, until he/she opens his/her mouth. Make sure that your child doesn’t just suck on the nipple – they could get sore. Most of the areola should be in the child’s mouth. This is the only way your baby can drink properly and your nipples do not get sore.
- Always let your child empty one breast first: this is important because if it is nearly empty, the fat content of the milk increases. This calorie-rich milk not only delivers important fatty acids, but also fills your child up. Always offer the other breast afterwards and let it drink until it stops on its own. Start the next breastfeed with the breast that was given last. This is good for milk production.
- To take the baby away from your breast it’s best to push your little finger into the corner of your baby’s mouth to break the vacuum. Then the child can easily be taken off the breast.
- Don’t be discouraged if breastfeeding doesn’t work in the beginning. You and your baby are a unique and one-off team. And just like every team you possibly need some training before you are perfectly fit. Give yourself and your body some time and keep calm. Your midwife will be pleased to offer advice and support. For more tips, watch our breastfeeding video.