Breastfeeding is a healthy choice for both you and your newborn, but learning how to do it successfully can be challenging.
One important aspect of successful breastfeeding is getting the proper latch. Here’s how to do it:
- While holding your baby belly-to-belly, line them up nose-to-nipple and wait for them to open their mouth wide before attaching.
- The latch should be deep enough that your nipple reaches to their soft palette. This will keep you from experiencing pain while nursing.
- Your baby’s chin should touch your breast first. Their head will then tilt back.
- Their lower lip will turn outward when they’re correctly attached.
Positions for breastfeeding
There are several positions you can use to feed your baby:
- Laid back: This is similar to the skin-to-skin position. Lay back and use pillows to support you. Place your baby face-down between your breasts and allow them to move into position to attach. This is an easy first feeding position.
- Cross-cradle: Place your baby on a pillow in your lap so they are at breast level. Place them tummy-to-tummy with you and line their nose up with your nipple. Support their head with your hand at the base of their skull. Form a C with your thumb and forefinger around your breast but away from your nipple. Once your baby latches on, you can release your breast and use this hand to help cradle your baby.
- Football hold: This is position is great if you have had a Cesarean section, because it keeps pressure off your incision. Place your baby on a pillow at your side with their legs under your arm. Support their head and neck with your hand by sliding your hand under your baby’s back.
- Side-lying: Lie on your side with pillows supporting you. Turn your baby toward you on their side facing your nipple. You may need to place your arm behind them for support. Line them up, nose-to-nipple.