Latching The Baby Onto The Breast
There are remarkably few ‘rules’ connected with breastfeeding because each baby is so unique. Some babies are very no-nonsense about feedings. Others like to linger at the breast. Some are sleepy during the first weeks after birth, and it can be a challenge to stimulate them to finish a meal. Others may be recovering from stressful deliveries and may fuss more than a mother had expected. As time goes by, families adjust to life with their newborn, resume normal activities, and breastfeeding becomes part of everyday life.
Medela knows that good beginnings are important, and that breastfeeding is learned behavior. Getting the baby comfortably latched on to the breast is the key to successful and enjoyable breastfeeding. The next section will describe how to latch the baby to the breast, but nothing replaces good, hands-on assistance. Be sure to contact a breastfeeding specialist or a La Leche League Leader or Nursing Mothers Counselor if you experience painful breastfeeding.
Look at your breast to see where the nipple is located. Don’t try to stretch your breast over to where the baby is lying.
This mother is ‘chasing’ the baby with her breast. Notice how the baby is tangled up in the blankets.
Instead, unwrap the baby and move the baby’s body so that he faces in toward you and can easily reach the nipple.
Some mothers need to support their breasts when the baby is tiny.
Breasts come in different sizes and shapes. For some women, using a pillow to raise the baby up will help the baby reach the nipple. For others, the baby will need to be lowered.
This mother must tuck her baby slightly under her breast to help him reach the nipple.
To latch the baby, line him up with his nose opposite your nipple. Support your breast and gently stroke his lips with your nipple.
Breastfeeding should feel comfortable and you should be able to hear sounds of swallowing. When the baby comes off the breast, the nipple should appear round, not pinched up into a shape that looks like a new tube of lipstick.
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