Ensuring that your baby attaches properly to your breast can help to ensure a comfortable, successful feed.
• first of all, make sure you are comfortable – do whatever works for you. Hold your baby’s whole body turned towards you and tucked in very close with her head at the level of your breast
• line up baby’s nose with your nipple
• Gently brush your nipple on the baby’s top lip. Support your baby behind the neck and shoulders so that her head is free to tilt back as she comes to the breast
• when her mouth is wide open, swiftly bring her to your breast, with her head still tilted back.
Your baby needs a good mouthful of breast as well as nipple to help her feed effectively.vShe should have a good portion of your breast below the nipple in her mouth.Signs that your baby is well attached:
• her mouth is wide open
• her cheeks are full and rounded
• her chin is pressed into your breast
• her lower lip is turned back
• you should be able to see more areola (the circle of darker skin surrounding your nipple) above your baby’s top lip than below her bottom lip
• she begins to feed right away with rhythmic sucks and swallows that may be rapid to start with
• breastfeeding should be comfortable and pain free
• Your baby's sucks will change to flutter sucks at the end of a feed when they are getting the rich high fat high calorie milk
• your nipple is the same shape at the end of the feed as at the beginning.
The sleepy, reluctant feeder
All babies are different, but as a general guide, your baby should feed at least 6 times in 24 hours. Some babies are reluctant feeders and need encouragement to ensure that they feed often enough, and that they get enough milk. Reasons for reluctant feeding include:
• a mum who has had a lot of sedation or a long and difficult birth
• a mum who is missing feeding cues
• a baby who is premature or jaundiced
• on rare occasions, a baby who is unwell.
If your baby is sleepy and reluctant to feed in the first few days you should speak to your midwife. In the meantime, you should express at least 6-8 times in a 24-hour period to build up your milk supply and prevent engorgement.