If you’ve already given birth and decided to breastfeed but weren’t able to attend a class, it’s not too late. You just need yourself, your baby, and some props.
Sit up in bed or sit on an arm chair. Support your back with a pillow and support your baby on your lap with another pillow. Bring up your knees with a footstool or some old telephone directories. Just relax.
Your baby should be lying on his side with his entire body facing you. Let your baby’s head rest on your forearm (let your arm support his back and your hand support his butt). He shouldn’t have to turn his head to reach your nipple.
Offer your breast to your baby like a sandwich. Position your thumb and forefinger on your breast, behind the areola, in a “C” shape.
Touch your baby’s cheek to make him turn towards your breast. Make sure your baby opens his mouth wide (like a yawn). You can help him by touching his lips gently. When his mouth is wide open, pull him onto your breast, with his chin first.
Make sure that his chin is pressed on your breast, your entire areola and not just your nipple is in his mouth and that he has “fish lips” (lips are exposed as he is suckling). If he doesn’t latch on properly, break suction by inserting your pinky finger in the corner of his mouth and then gently pulling your breast out. Don’t let him keep suckling if he isn’t properly positioned. You can always try to latch him on again. This way, you avoid getting sore nipples.
Let your baby suckle on one breast for as long as he wants and then offer the other breast. For your next feeding, offer the breast that didn’t get as much suckling.
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Remember that a newborn baby has to be feeding on your breast every two to three hours, so nap when he does. Enlist your husband, family, and friends to help out with household chores. If you still have difficulties, there’s nothing like calling up another breastfeeding mom to support you. See details below.