Breastfeeding 101

“Nose to Nipple”.

Just like in life, “position is everything”! If the baby’s nose isn’t aligned with the nipple, it will be harder for him or her to grasp it. Line up the tip of the baby’s nose with the tip of the nipple so that when the baby puts his head back and opens wide, he will latch onto the nipple and areola.

How do you hold the baby?

    • Cradle position-   Holding the baby in front of you with the baby’s head resting in the crook of your elbow as the baby feeds from that breast.
    • Cross cradle-   Supporting baby on your forearm with your hand holding baby just behind the ears and back of the neck, Holding the baby to the opposite breast. Your other hand can hold the breast, making a wide “C” grip around the nipple.
    • Football hold-   American style football. :). Holding baby tucked under the arm, feeding from that breast.
    • Side-lying-   Lying down with the baby facing you. Support your legs with a pillow between your knees. With c-sections, roll a small handtowel and place under lower abdomen for extra support of incision.
    • Laid-back position-  For women with strong milk ejection reflex (MER), flat or inverted nipples or for babies that have tongue or lip-tie, bubble palate, tongue thrusting:  Lie back in a reclining position, almost flat, baby can be transverse across you and face down over nipple (don’t worry–they can breathe).  This helps baby with oral problems by using gravity to help bring baby in for a deeper latch.  This helps moms who have strong MER by using gravity to help control flow.

How often & how long do you feed?

Breastmilk is perfect for baby and digests right away!  This is different than formula which has longer protein chains and takes longer to digest. Breastfeed every 1 1/2 to 2 hours for as long as the baby wants. Let the baby feed from one breast completely — they will “self-detach” when finished. Switching baby to the other breast before they are finished is not advised — you will lose the higher fat content milk at the end of the feeding.  The emptier the breast, the higher the fat content.  When the baby self-detaches, burp baby and try to feed from the other breast if the baby wants it. Babies can feed perfectly well from just one breast for a feeding — offering the second breast is a bonus.  If you have large breasts, your storage capacity is usually greater and you may go 3 hours or longer between feedings.  Likewise, if you have small breasts, you may need to feed every 1 1/2 hours.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *