Thursday, October 18, 2012

How to breastfeed step by step

1 Hold your baby’s whole body close with the nose level with your nipple.
2 Let your baby’s head tip back a little so that their top lip can brush against your nipple. This should help your baby to make a wide open mouth.
3 When your baby’s mouth opens wide, the chin is able to touch the breast first, with the head tipped back so that the tongue can reach as much breast as possible.
4 With the chin firmly touching, and with the nose clear, the mouth is wide open, and there will be much more of the darker skin visible above your baby’s top lip than below their bottom lip – and their cheeks will look full and rounded as your baby feeds.
Your baby’s sucking causes milk stored in your breasts to be squeezed down ducts inside your breasts towards your nipples. This is called the ‘let-down’ reflex. Some women get a tingling feeling which can be quite strong, while others feel nothing at all. You will see your baby respond and their quick sucks change to deep rhythmic swallows as the milk begins to flow. Babies often pause after the initial quick sucks while they wait for more milk to be ‘delivered’. If your baby falls asleep quickly before the deep swallowing stage, check that they are properly latched on. It might be easier to get someone else to check for you. Sometimes you will notice your milk flowing in response to your baby crying or when you have a warm bath.
After your baby has finished feeding, you can hold them upright on your shoulder to wind them – that is, until they burp. Breastfed babies don’t usually get as much wind as formula-fed babies.
If you have any concerns about any of these points, talk to your peer supporter, midwife, GP or health visitor, or contact the National Breastfeeding Helpline.
Note that if your baby seems unusually sleepy and/or is slow to start feeding, they may be ill, so contact your GP as soon as possible.
Helpful tips
Breastfeeding should feel comfortable. Your baby should be relaxed. You should hear a soft swallowing. If it doesn’t feel right, start again. Slide one of your fingers into your baby’s mouth, gently break the suction and try again.

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