Updated: Nov 12, 2018
We already talked about the importance of breastfeeeding but we haven’t talked yet how to breastfeed!
For some mums breastfeeding it comes very natural and easy but for most of the others mums it takes time and patience, lots and lots of patience!
The first thing that I always say to a mum when I help her with breastfeeding is: Are you comfortbale? As a mum you often forget about yourself! If you are not comfortbale and your back or neck hurts, if you are distress breastfeeding will start like a fight instead than a natural calm and bonding event.
First thing to learn is: your baby feels that you are not comfortable and you are distress.
Find a comfortable position, use pillows around you and when you find a good position take a deep breath and after that you can start.
Which position should you use? There are lots of different positions for breastfeeding: sitting, lying down, rugby ball position for baby. Later on you will even manage to breastfeed your baby in a standing position while you are doing things around the house. It takes time and a calm environment at first. It doesn’t matter which position you choose but you have to look at few things:
1. Are your babys’s head and body in a straight line? If not, your baby might not be able to swallow easily.
2. Are you holding your baby close to you? Support his neck, shoulder and back. Your hand a C shape around the neck helps you to support baby neck and baby to move his head. He should be able to tilt his head back easily and he shouldn’t have to reach out to feed
3. Is your baby’s nose opposite to nipple? Your baby needs to get a big mouthful of breast from underneath the nipple. Placing your baby with his nose level with your nipple will allow him to reach up and attach to your breast well. When your baby’s mouth opens wide, his chin is able to touch your breast first, with his head tipped back so that his tongue can reach as much breast as possible. Be careful of that tongue and to the top and bottom lip! The tongue has to stay down, below the nipple! If you hear lot of noise the classical “Squack , Smuack “ it means that the baby is not attacched well and probably the tongue is not in a correct position or he is “biting” his lips. Latch off the baby and restart again.
I had a mum few weeks ago she was very tired after birth and baby started crying and she wanted the baby to feed. More the baby was crying more she was getting agitated, frustrated and she was getting in a very uncomfortbale position on a bed to try to feed the baby. She was almost at the edge of crying. She had an amazing water birth, she coped very well during labour and birth but she couldn’t cope with her baby crying. That is completely normal. I told her to take a deep breath, to relax her shoulder down and to find a comfortable position. I explained all the above steps and when she felt calmer I put baby skin to skin with her and slowly with a lot of patience we followed all the steps. Her baby took a while to latch on in the correct position but he did it and after that he feed for more than 1 hour.
Breastfeeding is the first thing that a baby has to learn. It takes time. Think when you have to learn something new, like a language or a new recipe for a cake. At first it is hard but with a bit of practice and patience you will learn how to do it and it will get easier. Breastfeeding is the same. You and your baby will learn it together. As much you will get frustrated with your little creature remember he has just been born and he has to learn. Give him time, give time to yourself and you will do it! Don't give up!