Breastfeeding...One of the Greatest Gifts
- decreases allergies in
- protects baby against illness such as ear and respiratory infections
- supports optimal brain development
- creates a special bond between you and your baby.
- no preparation or cost!
- helps you lose your pregnancy weight gain faster!
- helps your uterus return to its normal size faster
- always ready and available when your baby is hungry.
- no bottles to warm in the middle of the night means MORE SLEEP!
- no bottles and nipples to clean or sterilize EASY CLEAN UP!
- physical contact is important to newborns & can help them feel more secure, warm & comforted.
- unlike formula, breastmilk doesn't go bad
- breastfeeding, especially exclusive breastfeeding, delays the return of normal ovulation and menstrual cycles, therefore increases birth intervals.
The best — and probably hardest — breastfeeding advice
is to relax! Remember that you and your baby are learning.
Tips for Every Nursing Position:
Support your body.
Choose a comfortable chair with armrests, and use pillows — lots of them — to lend extra support to your back and arms. (Most couches aren't supportive enough to sit on while breastfeeding.) Stick a few under your feet, too, to avoid bending toward your baby. A footstool, coffee table, or stack of books works just as well. A pillow or folded receiving blanket on your lap can also keep you from hunching over. Whichever nursing position you use, be sure to bring your baby to your breast, rather than the other way around.
Support your breasts.
Your breasts get bigger and heavier during lactation. As you nurse, use your free hand to support your breast with a C-hold (four fingers underneath the breast at 9 o'clock with your thumb on top at 3 o'clock) or a V-hold (support your breast between your splayed index and middle fingers). Note: It's important to keep your fingers at least 2 inches behind the nipple and areola so that your baby doesn't suck on them instead.
Support your baby.
Feeling comfortable and secure will help your baby nurse happily and efficiently. Use your arm and hand, plus pillows or a folded receiving blanket, to support your baby's head, neck, back, and hips and keep them in a straight line. You can swaddle her or gently hold her arms by her side to make nursing easier.
Vary your routine.
Experiment to find a nursing position that you find most comfortable. Many women find that the best way to avoid getting clogged milk ducts is to regularly alternate breastfeeding holds. Because each hold puts pressure on a different part of your nipple, you may avoid getting sore nipples, too. Another tip: If you alternate which breast you nurse from first at every feeding, you'll boost milk production.
Relax, and then nurse.
Take a few deep breaths, close your eyes, and think peaceful, calming thoughts. Keep a tall, cool glass of water, milk, or juice on hand to drink while you breastfeed — staying hydrated will help you produce milk.
Time to stop?
Ideally, your baby will decide she's had enough when she's drained one or both breasts. If you need to change your baby's position, switch her to the other breast, or end her feeding for any reason, gently insert your finger into the corner of her mouth. A quiet "pop" means you've broken the suction (which can be remarkably strong!), and you can pull her away.
The Cradle Hold
This classic breastfeeding position requires you to cradle your baby's head with the crook of your arm. Sit in a chair that has supportive armrests or on a bed with lots of pillows. Rest your feet on a stool, coffee table, or other raised surface to avoid leaning down toward your baby. Hold her in your lap (or on a pillow on your lap) so that she's lying on her side with her face, stomach, and knees directly facing you. Tuck her lower arm under your own.
If she's nursing on the right breast, rest her head in the crook of your right arm. Extend your forearm and hand down her back to support her neck, spine, and bottom. Secure her knees against your body, across or just below your left breast. She should lie horizontally, or at a slight angle.
Best for: The cradle hold often works well for full-term babies who were delivered vaginally. Some mothers say this hold makes it hard to guide their newborn's mouth to the nipple, so you may prefer to use this position once your baby has stronger neck muscles at about 1 month old. Women who have had a cesarean section may find it puts too much pressure on their abdomen.
The Clutch or Football Hold
As the name suggests, in this position you tuck your baby under your arm (on the same side that you're nursing from) like a football or handbag. First, position your baby at your side, under your arm. She should be facing you with her nose level with your nipple and her feet pointing toward your back. Rest your arm on a pillow in your lap or right beside you, and support your baby's shoulders, neck, and head with your hand. Using a C-hold (see below), guide her to your nipple, chin first. But be careful — don't push her toward your breast so much that she resists and arches her head against your hand. Use your forearm to support her upper back.
You may want to try this hold if you've had a Cesarean section (to avoid having the baby rest on your stomach). And if your baby is small or has trouble latching on, the hold allows you to guide her head to your nipple. It also works well for women who have large breasts or flat nipples, and for mothers of twins.
To nurse while lying on your side in bed, ask your partner or helper to place several pillows behind your back for support. You can put a pillow under your head and shoulders, and one between your bent knees, too. The goal is to keep your back and hips in a straight line. With your baby facing you, draw her close and cradle her head with the hand of your bottom arm. Or, cradle her head with your top arm, tucking your bottom arm under your head, out of the way. If your baby needs to be higher and closer to your breast, place a small pillow or folded receiving blanket under her head. She shouldn't strain to reach your nipple, and you shouldn't bend down toward her.
You may want to nurse lying down if you're recovering from a cesarean or difficult delivery, sitting up is uncomfortable, or you're nursing in bed at night or during the day
Remember to :
- Drink a lot of fluids. Think about drinking water every time your baby drinks. And avoid both alcohol and caffeine – they are diuretics.
- Eat well. Do not miss meals and eat nutritious foods. If you are exercising a lot, be sure that you are still eating enough! You should not lose more than one pound a week.
If you are having difficulty breastfeeding or have any questions please feel free to contact a WIC specialist or the Healthy Start specialist at :(620) 326-2774