Breast Feeding – am I doing it right?

When it comes to feeding your newborn baby – It is crucial that you get all the information from your Health Care Professional,  so that you can make a decision that best suits you and your baby.

Breast feeding is perfect for human babies. Breast milk is made up of the perfect ingredients for a new born baby, it helps their immunity (susceptibility to diseases), it is instantly available (once you have established the milk supply) and you don’t need to be sterilizing bottles etc., and it is at the perfect temperature – in the long run – if you can go through the learning curve – I know you would be so glad you did.
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If you are unsure about which way to go, my concern is: once you go down the formula road, you can’t days later think that maybe you will try breast feeding after all.

If you are unsure – try breast feeding first – at least the baby is getting all that essential protection you pass on to him/her in the colostrum    (that thick creamy first milk) – you can always switch to formula later.

If for whatever reason, your newborn baby needs to feed on a formula – it will need to be safely prepared and suitable for your baby. Hold you baby close and cuddle your baby while feeding the formula – and your baby will feel your love.

I will just give you an overview on how to work out if you are breast feeding “correctly”, and link you to a lactation consultant for in depth information on the subject.   Also, I highly recommend you go to our area and watch Rebecca Glover’s famous “Follow me Mum” dvd – like so many frustrated Moms before you – you’ll be writing to Rebecca to thank her for helping you get it right!

Here I will try to describe in words – what you are aiming to do:

When it comes to breast feeding – I firmly believe in the KISS PRINCIPLE.

If the person who is trying to help you gets all complicated and fancy about the whole thing – try to find someone a little more down to earth.

There are a few basic principles to adhere to.

Don’t try to feed a baby who is not hungry – that is not likely to work.

You and the baby both need to be in as natural a position as is possible – you need to be either sitting or lying comfortably (so that you could maintain that position for at least twenty minutes, without your arm/leg or some other bit going numb.

If it is possible – feed your baby “skin to skin” – your skin and your baby’s skin touching actually trigger your baby’s breastfeeding reflex.

Sitting in a comfortable position (eg a chair) – you can support your lower back with a cushion.   It is not necessary to place your baby on a pillow to breast feed – this can in fact stop your baby getting into the best position to feed.

It is important that your baby feels secure as she/he goes to find the breast – by holding your baby firmly against your body and supporting your baby in the small of their back – your baby can search for the breast.   Position your baby with their nose opposite the nipple.   In this position – your baby’s chin presses into the breast, he/she tilts the head back, and takes a large mouthful of the underneath area of the breast.   Part of the areola (the dark area around the nipple) is visible in front of the baby’s nose.

When a baby is properly attached – you’ll feel a strong tugging feeling – tell tale signs that things are right are:
you see him /her making swallowing movements in his/her throat; you see an “ear wiggle” – babies can’t do that if they are not properly attached, and you may see a sucking/indrawing effect in their cheeks.

You really do need the help of someone with experience/knowledge about breast feeding in those early days – don’t be afraid to ask – it can save a lot of trouble in the long run.

I’ve been nursing babies for so long now, and No, I am not a “wet nurse” – that I have seen every style come and go.

So many minutes on this breast, one breast only, alternate, hind milk is best – it’s like a merry-go round!!!!
The latest research is always bringing something new to life – presently the “general” way to go, is to empty the first breast so that your baby receives the satisfying hind milk (this may take about 20 minutes of sucking – once you have established your milk supply), and then offer the second breast. Next time – start on the second breast – first!!!!

You know what I mean – if you start on the right breast at say the 9am feed – then start on the left breast at the next feed.