It's OK to be wondering where to start when it comes to breastfeeding your baby. After all it wasn't something they covered in school or around the family dinner table.
Don't worry if the first thing. It's 100% natural and whilst not everyone finds it as easy as pie from the beginning there are a few hints and tips to give you a head start.
- Firstly, find a comfortable position for both of you, with phone, television remote and water near to your free hand – you may be there for some time.
- Sit with your back straight and as many cushions or pillows on your lap as you need to bring your baby up to breast level.
- Turn your baby into your body to face you, with your nipple level with baby’s nose. Tummy to mummy, nipple to nose.
- Gently squeeze your breast to shape the nipple and areola to make it easier for your baby to get the breast into his or her mouth.
- To help control your baby's head, place your opposite hand around the nape of your baby’s neck with your thumb and fingers just under their ears. This will help you to be able to support and guide their head into the correct position for latching on.
- Let your baby’s mouth brush the nipple and you’ll find he or she will open their mouth.
- Wait until your baby’s mouth is open really wide, then aim your nipple at the roof of your baby’s mouth and bring him/her onto the breast.
- Always bring your baby to your breast and not the other way round, as this allows the baby to latch on correctly. It’s also easier on your back this way.
- If your baby has latched on correctly, you will not be able to see any of the nipple nor most of the areola (the dark area around the nipple).
- Once your baby is latched on, you can gently let go of your breast. Depending on the size of your breast, it may be necessary to gently press on the breast tissue nearest to the baby's nose to make sure they can still breathe!
- Put out of mind any images you may have of your baby bottle feeding technique, because the breastfeeding position is very different.