Breastfeeding Techniques for Proper Positioning For Success
Whether you are breastfeeding your first child or your 4th, there are many challenges that mothers can face in the process, but there are also some breastfeeding techniques that can make the experience go smoothly and minimize frustration for you and your baby.
Breastfeeding is a expertise that has to be master, for both mom and baby. If you have already breastfed one child, you probably remember the frustration, fear, and uncertainty of those first few days with your newborn. These are very normal feelings, but with the proper techniques, practice, and patience, breastfeeding can be achieved by almost all women.
Breastfeeding techniques to help you stick it out
Here are a few important points that will help you become successful at breastfeeding:
- Get the support of your partner and family members. Many people still do not know the importance of breastfeeding and the benefits it has for you and your baby. Become informed and educate them so they will be more likely to support you in your effort. If your partner or family members are feeling left out because they can not participate in feedings, pump milk and keep some stored so they can occasionally partake in the feeding process. This will also give you some breaks and opportunities to get more sleep, which will be very important those first few months home with your new baby.
- Don’t give up too soon and switch to formula. Breastfeeding can be very frustrating, perhaps even painful, if it doesn’t go right initially, but be persistent. You may not feel like your baby is getting enough to eat, but for the first few days the small amount of colostrum you are producing is exactly what he needs. After that, as long as your baby is regularly gaining weight, you are producing enough and will not need to use formula. If your pediatrician thinks your baby needs to be supplemented with formula, you can still continue to breastfeed. Some breast milk is better than none. If it is painful when you feed, learning proper latching methods will solve the problem. Remember that breastfeeding is what nature intended for us to do – if you give it a good shot, you will be successful.
- Utilize the resources available to you! Most hospitals have lactation consultants on staff, which are a very valuable resource for moms in the beginning stages of breastfeeding. You will probably have one available before you even leave the hospital, if you request it, and beyond that they will be available by phone to assist you. Most hospitals have very helpful nurses on staff if a lactation consultant is not available. They help new moms every day and they are more than willing to assist in your breastfeeding effort. If you have a local Women, Infants, and Children office, you can turn to them for support, as they also have nurses and breastfeeding consultants on staff. There are also many resources and forums online where you can find information.
Methods: Breastfeeding and Infant Feeding Practices
the breastfeeding techniques you can learn, the most crucial one – and the one you will need to learn first – is proper positioning. Learning how to position your baby will not only result in getting a better latch, but will help prevent sore nipples and discomfort for you. Many women give up breastfeeding due to nipple soreness, but this is often one of the easiest things to remedy. Good positioning is essential for a good latch, and a good latch will usually eliminate the problem of sore nipples.
There are several positions that you can use to breastfeed, including cradle hold (shown in the image above), football hold, cross cradle hold, or lying down with your baby beside you. Chances are, once you find one of these positions that works for you, you will use that position most of the time. I always found the cradle hold easiest and most comfortable, so I use that position almost exclusively. However, I do occasionally nurse my son in bed when we are resting together and the lying down position is great for that. You can try out all the positions until you find one that you are comfortable with.
An important thing to remember when getting ready to position your baby to nurse is to bring your baby to your bust, not your breast to the baby. Bring your baby to the level of your breast before letting him latch on, using pillows for support if necessary. Many women will lean forward, bringing the breast to the baby, which results in an uncomfortable, awkward position (and I still catch myself doing it sometimes). You will know you and your baby are positioned properly when you are both comfortable and relaxed during the feeding and baby is latched on properly.
Keep in mind that breastfeeding is a learned experience for both you and baby. It will take time and practice, but it will become second nature in a very short time. With support and information, you and your baby will reap the many rewards that breastfeeding has to offer. Also you should learn about An Easy Transition for Stopping Breastfeeding to your baby.