Before you begin breastfeeding:
You may need a trip to the bathroom and a drink or snack. Some
women prefer privacy from others.
Consider taking pain medication if needed.
Make yourself comfortable; sitting up, reclining or lying down.
Pillows and a footstool can be helpful for support.
Massage your breast and express some milk onto your nipple.
Positioning and latching on:
baby’s tummy against yours. Position the nose level with your
nipple. Support the head and back with your hand and arm. Support
and sandwich the breast with the other hand if needed. Have your
fingers week back from the areola, as shown in the picture below.
Tickle baby’s upper lip gently with your nipple. The mouth
will open wide when baby is ready to feed. Follow baby’s lead.
Bring the baby quickly into the breast when the mouth is wide open
(but not during a yawn or a cry). The chin comes against the breast
first. The nose may rest on the breast or be slightly away from
the breast. If baby sounds “stuffy”, pull her bottom
in closer to your body, or tip her head back slightly.
Good latching and positioning
are important for baby to feed well and to prevent sore nipples
The baby needs to latch deeply for you to be comfortable. If the
latch hurts, break the suction by putting your finger into the corner
of baby’s mouth and start over. Your baby will learn to latch
well with time.
Remember that breastfeeding in not nipple feeding. Babies need
to have a big mouthful of the breast.
Changing positions often in the early days helps to build milk
supply and prevent sore nipples.
Watch and listen to see if your baby is feeding well:
- Did baby’s mouth open wide?
- Did baby latch deeply with a big mouthful of breast?
- Are there pauses between sucks?
- Do you hear swallowing?
- Swallows may sound like soft clicks.
- How many sucks before the baby swallows?
- They will become more frequent as your milk supply increases.
- Feeding for more than one hour may mean that your baby is not
- Seek advice and assistance if needed. See Resources.
Be patient and gentle. Feeding will become a special
time for you and your baby.