Breastfeeding made easy for new moms
I hope this article can give you a good idea about how to start breastfeeding. Please excuse the drawings – I did them myself.
Breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed your Baby. No formula in this world can give your baby the same valuable nutrition.
You always have the perfect food available at the perfect temperature. At night you can nurse while laying down with a bit practice to still get the most possible sleep if you are co-sleeping.
There are affiliate links in this post, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will be compensated if you click through and take action. For full disclosure click here.
You just gave birth to your Baby. The Baby will be put on your chest and will intuitive start searching for your breast to latch on. It will start moving his head around with the mouth open searching for food and start breastfeeding. At the beginning there will be colostrum coming out of your breast which is not the actual milk yet but a very thick consistency with lots and lots of fat and nutrition for your Baby.
Your milk comes in usually a few days after your Baby is born.
This is how it looks when the Baby is properly latched on:
It won’t be like that right away. Both – you and your Baby – will need to learn how to breastfeed. If there is a Lactation Consultant available at the Hospital definitely let them help you so you will have a great start with Breastfeeding. They can give you helpful tips and information material.
You want to make sure this whole part – nipple and Areola (the dark pigmented part around the nipple) – is completely in Baby’s mouth. This will take some practice but you can do it!
To make it easier for your Baby you can try holding your breast like this. Also called the sandwich hold. Meaning you hold your breast with one hand softly squeezing it while gently bringing your baby on the breast with your other hand.
Some newborns fall asleep while drinking, to keep them awake it helps to gently tickle their feet or fondle their cute little cheeks or forehead. I know moms that even had to undress their babies to keep them awake.
From the beginning
While in the Hospital it is very important to feed your baby a lot…and i mean A LOT! it will feel like 24/7. Eating a lot is very important so their bilirubin levels don’t drop and they don’t develop jaundice and of course weight gain. Otherwise you will have to stay longer.
When you are home and you feel like something is not working out with breastfeeding there is always help available. Don’t get discouraged.
You can talk to your pediatrician or you can also head over to la leche league to find help local. On their Website you can also find a lot more helpful information about Breastfeeding.
Some Babies have something called “tongue tie” which makes it hard for them to latch properly and get food. A tongue tie means the tie is too short making the tongue motion range very limited. This can be easily fixed with a cut in the tie. (This should be done by a professional, some lactation consultants can do it)
Are you having trouble to find out when your baby is hungry? This post may help:
– Baby Hunger cues and why you should act before your baby cries
– 9 Questions about Breastfeeding
Skin on Skin
Skin on skin means you place the naked baby (with diaper) belly down on your naked chest so they can feel your skin and hear the heartbeat. Cover your Baby with a blanket so you both are warm and comfortable. The Dad can do this too to bond with the newborn.
When i gave birth the Hospital had something called “golden hour” where they left us completely alone with the Baby for an hour – after she was checked and everything was taking care of – just having skin on skin contact and the very first breastfeeding.
It was the best! You finally get to snuggle this little human that was inside of you just a few hours ago.
Skin on skin is said to have a few benefits:
– it soothes your Baby
– hormones are released that relieve stress and stabilize your baby’s temperature, breathing rate, heart rate, and blood sugar
– boosts your Baby’s immune system
– it lowers your risk of postpartum depression
– Builds a strong bond with your Baby
and many more.
I was spending most of my time in the Hospital doing skin on skin with my Baby and snuggle.
While your breasts need to learn how to deal with a always hungry Newborn and the start of breastfeeding you will probably experience cracked nipples and pain. There is lotion you can use that can be put on and let Baby nurse right after. It is totally fine if they get the lotion in their mouth.
Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream is probably the most popular lotion and also what i had. Don’t let the size fool you, it will be enough.
If you have very severe pain or very long lasting, bad bleeding you might want to have a lactation consultant or your doctor look at it.
Breastfeeding is a journey for both of you, there will be ups and downs and it might not always be pretty but it definitely is always worth it at the end.
Different feeding positions
The classic hold is having your baby on one arm in front of you while feeding. There is also the so-called football hold where you have your baby on your side while feeding.
Different positions stimulate different milk glands helping the breast to get empty.
This video explains very helpful how to properly latch, different positions and overall great advise for new breastfeeding moms.
I highly recommend and encourage you to watch the full video if you are a new mom or if you want to prepare for breastfeeding while still pregnant.
Are you currently pregnant?
Make sure you got all the basics for your nursery covered!
Subscribe to our email list and get a free baby registry checklist.