How to breastfeed?
People often say that although breastfeeding is natural why is it not always easy for some mothers and babies to do so successfully? Research has shown that 80% of mothers who gave up breastfeeding did not want to do so and with support they could've continued. This section is your virtual Breastfeeding Supporter for all your breastfeeding basic needs.
96% of breastfeeding problems can be resolved by simple changes to how you Position your baby then how they Attach to the breast.
Your baby works on their natural reflexes to coordinate themselves to latch at the breast. In the early days it is beneficial to lay back and find your baby’s Natural Breastfeeding Position then follow the steps below"
CLOSE – Hold your baby close to you.
HEAD FREE – Don’t hold the back of your baby’s head.
IN LINE – Ensure your baby’s head and body are in line and your baby isn’t twisiting their neck to feed.
NOSE TO NIPPLE – Line up your nipple with your baby’s nose, so when they open their mouth wide and tilt their head back the nipple will go into the roof of the mouth.
SUSTAINABLE– Make sure you are comfortable.
Remember the pneumonic CHINS
There are many positions you can place your baby in to start a comfortable feed as long as you have those 5 points in place.
Laid Back/Natural Breastfeeding/Biological Nurturing®
This is the most useful way to enable the baby to self latch in the early hours and days, using their natural instinctive behaviour. They feel secure because gravity is working with them, holding them to their mother's body in nice close contact. You don’t have to be laid right back, just reclining. If you are sitting in a chair, just bring your bottom forward and lean back, then place the baby on top of you in any angle as long as the nose is lined up with the nipple
Cross Cradle Hold:
Supporting the back of the baby’s neck with the thumb and forefinger, lining up their nose to nipple, then when the baby’s mouth opens wide bring them to the breast. Be aware babies can feel insecure in certain holds where gravity is pulling against them. Take into consideration the height from your breast to your lap and where your breast hangs naturally. It is always best to allow your baby to self attach without supporting your breast. For a larger breast however, it can be helpful to roll up a cloth/muslin to lift your breast away from your body, or use a flat hand on your chest to gently lift the breast tissue.
A common hold adopted by mothers when they are confident feeders.
Support your baby in the crook of your arm and using your free hand, tickle
your baby’s top lip with the nipple, this encourages a wide gape and you can
bring your baby to your breast.
The Rugby Hold:
This is a popular hold with tiny babies or when the mother feels she needs to see the baby latching on. It can also help when a baby is reluctant to feed at one breast in the cradle hold. This enables your baby to stay in their preferred position, but feed from the other breast. Bear in mind when the baby grows this position isn’t helpful because the baby cannot be tucked under the arm and still have their nose to nipple. They tend to “overshoot” their latch, causing the nipple to enter the mouth centrally, or too low resulting in poor latch and nipple damage.
You lay on your side, with baby facing you, with their nose, lined up
with your nipple, tucking their legs into your abdomen ensuring they
are close. It can be helpful for your partner, or helper to place baby
next to you when you have got into a comfortable position.
Sometimes its good to support yourself with a pillow behind your
back. Again consider where you place your baby in relation to where
you breast falls and the position of your nipple.
These are ideas for positioning twins or a baby and toddler for tandem feeding. With twins it can be useful to use a supporting cushion to enable you to position one baby using both hands, whilst the other can be lying on the cushion ready for their turn.
However always consider where your breast are naturally falling and ensure the cushion isn’t positioning the baby too far up the breast i.e. not nose to nipple.