Books say your child will reflexively know to suckle and root in the direction of your breast when you easily lead them to it. And yet, if thousands of mothers’ experiences are any indicator, that is not always the case. In fact, all parts of breastfeeding were never really as simple as what’s written in any book and if you’ve ever talked to more than a few moms who have breastfed before, you’ll know this is true.
Of course, this does not mean it will always be harder than what you expect! Some fortunate moms do have an easier breastfeeding experience or do not find the difficulties as dreadful as expected. You might be among the lucky ones, so don’t immediately feel defeated from listening others’ stories.
Regardless, it never hurts to be extra prepared. Preparation is key for most things, if not all, and the same applies to breastfeeding. On that note, we’ll guide you through the basic things to know when it comes to breastfeeding your little one as a first-time mom!
When Will You First Breastfeed?
The general recommendation by experts is to breastfeed your baby as soon as possible after birth, within the first hour or so and especially during skin-to-skin contact initiation when you are still inside the labour room.
Why is this time crucial? As a matter of fact, this is the ideal time for bonding, regulating your newborn’s body temperature, and stimulating their digestion and bowels. If you manage to breastfeed, they will start receiving the immunological effects of colostrum (the first breast milk), which is even more important benefit to reap to protect them against infection and diseases.
How to Know If My Baby Is Latching On Correctly?
It isn’t always obvious when your baby is not latching on properly, so it is advisable to look for more signs. Here’s a simple table to help you recognise whether your little on is latching on correctly:
|Signs of a Proper Latch||Signs of a Poor Latch|
|Your baby’s mouth is wide open around your breast.|
Your baby’s lips are flanged.
Your baby’s tongue is extended forward under your breast.
Your baby’s chin touches the breast and nose is free.
You hear or see swallowing
|Your baby barely opens their mouth|
Your baby’s lips are curled inwards
Your baby’s tongue is kept behind their lower gum
Your baby’s chin does not touch the breast
Your baby is making clicking or smacking noises.
Which Breastfeeding Position Can I Use?
No matter which position you breastfeed in, make sure to support your baby at the level of your breast, with your baby’s head and body aligned. Here are some comfortable positions to feed your little one in:
- Cradle Hold
The cradle hold is the classic breastfeeding position. Sit up straight, and support your baby with the arm that is the same side as your nursing breast. Cradle your baby in your arm, with your baby’s head lying in the crook of your elbow and facing your breast.
- Cross-Cradle Hold
The cross-cradle hold is ideal for newborns. Sit up straight, and hold your baby in the crook of your arm opposite the breast you’re feeding from (right arm for left breast, left arm for right breast), and support the baby’s head in your palm. Use your other free hand to shape your breast.
- Football Hold
Football hold is ideal if you are recovering from a C-Sec or you have large breasts. Tuck your baby beside you with your elbow bent. Use your forearm to support your baby’s back. With your free hand, gently adjust your baby’s head towards your breast. Use a pillow on your lap for more comfort.
- Side-Lying Position
Side-lying position is best when you are tired during night feeding, or when you are finding it hard to sit up due to post C-Sec wound or stitches. Lie on your side next to your baby, supporting your baby with one hand to bring him or her close to your breast. Support your own head with the other hand.
How Do I Stimulate Breast Milk Production?
Breastfeeding more is the primary method that will stimulate more breast milk production, mainly due to the suckle effect from your baby. When there is ‘demand’, there’s supply.
Understandably, there might come a time when there is not much ‘demand’, especially if your baby is not latching on correctly.
The good news is, there are many methods you can try until you find one (or more) that works for you!
- Use Breast Pumps
- Switch Breastfeeding From Both Sides of Your Breasts
- Massage Your Breasts
- Consume More Galactagogues/Foods That Can Boost Lactation
- Enjoy Some Lactation Cookies/Bakes
And that’s about it! We hope these would be helpful for you as you embark on your beautiful breastfeeding journey! It may not always be easy, but watching your little one grow from the nutrition they get from you is worth it.
That said, your health and wellbeing still matter the most. If there is any pain or difficulties that are preventing you from conveniently breastfeeding, make sure to give yourself time to recover from it. There is no harm in giving formula milk to your baby, in fact it is still very much nutritious to boost their growth.
At PEM Confinement Nanny Agency, our experienced nannies are professionally-trained to assist new mothers in their lactation journeys. You can go through some confinement nanny agency review on our Facebook to find out how we help new mothers.
To give you ample rest, our nannies will also take care of nighttime feeding and help burp your little one. More importantly, they will share important skills and tips in caring for your newborn. If you’d like to know more about our confinement Singapore services, we are reachable every day at +65 6293 9249, 10 AM – 7 PM. We wish you all the best in your parenthood journey!