1- Getting a good latch.
Your baby must be latched on correctly with a large mouthful of breast. You should see more of the dark skin of your nipple above baby’s top lip than below. And your nipple should be pointed to the roof of baby’s mouth. And remember to bring baby to your breast, not breast to baby!
2- Experience with feeding positions.
You can feed you baby in many comfortable positions. Such as baby laying in front of your tummy, with her tummy against yours. Another good way is in the ‘rugby ball’ position. I don’t mean that have have to lob your baby over some big white goal-post or cover her in mud. Your baby can be held in one arm with her body running under your shoulder. This is a favourite of mine because as you get more confident you can use your free hand to still drink your cuppa! Or even try laying down with your body and baby’s body running parallel.
3- Baby should be supported.
Support your baby’s head, shoulders (not knees or toes) and their back. Their head and back should run in a straight line so they can swallow easy and their neck not twisted. You try drinking with your head facing your shoulder. Not comfy!!
4- Make sure you have essentials close before you start.
Trust me. I soon learnt this. Nothing worse than just getting baby attached then realising you have not got a glass of water (and you WILL) get thirsty. Or maybe that your phone is in the other room and your waiting for an important phone call. You will need to up your fluid intake when breastfeeding and you will find you are mega thirsty when doing night feeds. Also a muslin cloth is very handy for wiping up any mess made baby (or you. I once squirted milk all over Willow when trying to get her to feed. No-one warns you that milk fly’s in all directions!)
5- Read up as much as you can.
Read as many books as possible and talk to women who have breastfed their babies. This will give you a good range of knowledge and some comfort that you are not alone when going through a rough patch. It helps to talk to other women. Not one baby is the same when it comes to feeding. They all feed differently, At different times and in different ways. All information gained is to be treated as a big holy grail to successful feeding.
there are loads of people you can talk to if you are unsure of anything. You may find these numbers useful…
The National Breastfeeding Helpline- 0300 100 0212
NCT Breastfeeding line- 0300 330 0771
or, you can even drop me a message on my facebook or twitter.
Also, Dads – please check out Jay’s top tips for Dads during breastfeeding