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15 Best Tips on how to breastfeed

Breastfeeding is as natural as getting up and taking a walk (or so they say), so when you find it doesn’t come quite as quickly to you as it does to other moms, you may start to have feelings of inadequacy. Despite what “they” all say, breastfeeding can often take lots of adjusting. Some moms never take to it. (And that’s fine as well).

It’s not your fault if you haven’t figured out breastfeeding straight away (not all the time anyway). A newborn baby doesn’t always get it right straight away either, and learning how to breastfeed can be something you can both do together. In addition, it will bring both you and your new baby closer together in a special bond.

Related: Breastfeeding can cut the risk of childhood obesity and change the world

Breastfeeding can be part of a meaningful emotional relationship between a mother and her baby, but unfortunately, successful nursing doesn’t come easily to every woman. Breastfeeding (despite opinions to the contrary) is not an automatic reaction; it’s a skill that women have to learn. Because of the assumption that it should be an automatic reaction, many women feel a failure if they can’t get it quite right. Tips on how to breastfeed shouldn’t be complicated, so read on to find out how.

Remain calm: Tips on how to breastfeed

Relax; if you’re nervous and tense because your baby will sense it. Some research suggests tension in a nursing mother is transmitted to her baby through her milk, which can result in the baby becoming colicky. Anxiety also interferes with the “letting down of your milk” (This is the release of the milk by your milk-producing glands), So finding somewhere peaceful with preferably soothing music and low lights, etc. to feed your baby becomes somewhat a necessity rather than a luxury.

Sitting in a rocking chair while feeding your baby has been a popular method of sitting and breastfeeding babies for hundreds of years. (Our grandmothers knew a thing or two). The structural design of the rocking chair helps you adjust your posture correctly, so you don’t suffer from back strain, and the rocking movement of the chair is calming.

tips on how to breastfeed

Don’t be swayed by other people’s advice and comments about how often to feed your baby. All babies are different, and what is good for one baby doesn’t necessarily work for another. If your baby wants eight provides a day, that’s fine. If he wants ten or fifteen feeds a day, that’s fine as well!

Tips on how to breastfeed – a little guide

It takes a certain amount of practice to breastfeed correctly, as always in life. Ideally, an experienced friend or midwife should be at the mother’s side at the beginning of breastfeeding. However, even if all the prerequisites are proper – such as the required rest and comfortable posture supported by a breastfeeding pillow, a balanced diet, and a little patience – small hurdles may arise from time to time that needs to be overcome.

Here, the mother can confidently count on the regulating forces of nature. The first, sometimes painful experience is the massive milk let-down in the first few days when the colostrum dries up. It is up to the little one to relieve his mother by drinking diligently. On the other hand, out of the blue, the amount of milk seems to be insufficient. It is not uncommon for the cause to be a growth spurt in the baby and the associated increased appetite. Demand determines supply here. If you now feed the baby more often, you will notice that an increased quantity of milk restores the balance after just one or two days. A little tip: fennel-cumin-anise tea promotes milk production and, at the same time, provides the necessary fluid intake.

Breastfeeding correctly: how to latch breastfeeding

To ensure that breastfeeding is successful, you can use the following tips as a guide:

Make yourself comfortable

When you breastfeed, you should always be comfortable. Whether sitting on the sofa or lying in bed, breastfeed where you feel comfortable. A nursing pillow relieves pressure on your arms and provides support. If you are breastfeeding while sitting, you may also want to use a footstool to elevate your legs and provide additional support. Test what works best for you.

Support your baby

Make sure your baby’s weight is primarily on your torso and arms, not your lap. This is because his body (head, chest to knees) is facing you and is snug, so he doesn’t have to turn his head to the side when drinking.

Correct latching on

You can help your baby suckle by squeezing your breast slightly in an oval shape at the front so that it fits crosswise in the little mouth. It may be necessary to squeeze the nipple a little to contract and stand up. This allows your baby to grasp it better. Also, if your baby does not open his mouth on his own, you can dab him lightly with the inside of the breast to create the necessary stimuli.

The optimal breastfeeding position: how to do laid back breastfeeding

There are several different breastfeeding positions you can use to nurse your baby. Each has its advantages. Basically, on the side of the breast or nipple where the baby’s chin is, they suck the hardest. If you have cracks or other sores on one side of the breast or nipple, choosing the proper breastfeeding position can reduce the pain. Position your baby so that his chin is on the less sore side of the nipple. This allows the painful side to recover a bit and heal better.

Breastfeed both sides

You should always offer your baby both breasts and ideally let them drink from them alternately. In this way, even milk production is supported—alternate either within a meal or between feedings. You should always start with the breast at which the baby last drank.

The optimal breastfeeding rhythm

There is no such thing as the optimal breastfeeding rhythm, at least not if you consider it by the time of day. Of course, it’s nice if the baby feeds on time every four hours and is entirely peaceful in between. There are enough recovery phases for the mother, and you can plan the day well. However, a schedule based solely on the day does not consider the baby’s needs. It is much more important to breastfeed as needed. Your baby is the only one who sets the rhythm. It feeds when it needs to. In this way, the balance between supply and demand is created and regulated entirely naturally. As a rule, breastfeeding children find a reasonably regular rhythm of usually two to four hours all by themselves after a few weeks.

how do you breastfeed a newborn

Breastfeeding does not always go smoothly. Therefore, it is advisable to check after about four to five days whether everything is going well or whether you need the advice of a midwife or lactation consultant. The following questions can be a guideline:

Do you feel the milk coming back between feedings and the breasts becoming firm and full? Do they feel noticeably softer after breastfeeding?

Can your child grasp both breasts well? Don’t rely on the one breast that always works. Instead, dare to switch.
Can you hear your child swallow audibly? You should listen to gentle gurgling and smacking when you breastfeed your baby.

Can your baby drink without stopping for about five to ten minutes? In the beginning, it is normal for the baby to take breaks because breastfeeding also needs to be learned. However, contact with the nipple should not be lost.
Does your baby seem full and satisfied after breastfeeding?

Frequent feeds are suitable for you and your baby, as frequent latching helps keep your milk flowing. It’s a common misconception that regular feeding stimulates your breasts to produce too much milk. Mother Nature is very clever, and she has ensured you will only ever produce as much milk as your baby needs. As he gets older and hungrier, the flow and texture will adjust to satisfy his needs.

Breastfeeding problems

Problems with breastfeeding often occur entirely unexpectedly. Suddenly, the child doesn’t seem to be getting enough to eat, the nipples are sore, milk builds up in the breast, or the breast itself hurts and is inflamed.

My child does not get full.

Until a few hours ago, everyday life with the infant went like clockwork. The child had a reliable eating rhythm, and the family could plan their time well. But suddenly, the baby is no longer getting enough to eat. First, restless, it sucks at the breast. Then, after barely half an hour or an hour, it is already hungry again and cries.

Common causes for this are:

  • The baby has a greater need for milk due to a growth spurt.
  • The mother is anxious, or under stress, so she produces too little milk.
  • The mother is not drinking or eating enough.
  • The baby was laid too infrequently, milk production decreased.
  • In our experience, some babies are hungrier in the late afternoon and need to be put on more often or longer.

What to do.

  • Breastfeed your baby more often – perhaps with a new rhythm! Usually, the balance of supply and demand will be restored within 48 hours. But it can also take up to a week.
  • Drink at least 2 liters of fluid more per day and ensure a balanced diet.
  • Schedule relaxation periods in your daily routine, with relaxation exercises, a quiet cup of tea, or a relaxing bath. This will support milk production and the milk flow reflex.
  • Accept help and support if you feel you can’t do it on your own!

how to improve latching during breastfeeding

Painful nipples
Many mothers experience discomfort at the beginning of breastfeeding. Sucking in particular hurts. But this is usually temporary. With proper care, the discomfort is quickly relieved. Mothers should determine the cause of any pain.

Common causes are:

  • Sensitivity of the skin
  • Poor breastfeeding position and incorrect latching on
  • The child has been sucking for too long.
  • The child is suffering from a bacterial infection or a fungal infection

What to do?

  • Shorten the duration of breastfeeding temporarily, depending on the sensitivity, and feed more frequently.
  • Avoid soap and other skin cleansers, as they further irritate the skin.
  • Allow milk residues to dry on the nipple.
  • Sage, myrrh tincture, and special ointments, which you can obtain at the pharmacy, disinfect and have an anti-inflammatory effect. Apply them after breastfeeding.
  • Nourish your breast with almond oil.
  • If you or your child suffers from a fungal infection such as oral thrush, you need to see your pediatrician and adolescent doctor. They will prescribe a remedy for you and your child (to avoid repeated mutual infection) that specifically helps against this condition.
  • Cracked, itchy, and burning nipples are signs of thrush infection in the nursing mother.

Milk engorgement

The initial onset of milk often brings severe breast swelling, which makes milk flow difficult. In addition, if the breast is not properly emptied during breastfeeding, a pressure point may form that is sensitive to touch, and the breast may become tense and painful.

Common causes of this are:

  • Breast gland swelling and increased blood flow due to milk let-down at the beginning of breastfeeding.
  • The baby has (temporarily) less appetite.
  • The balance of supply and demand is upset due to pumping or supplemental feeding.

What to do.

  • Frequent latching helps the swelling, which is caused by increased blood flow, to subside. Temporarily, the child should always be put on the painful breast first. When doing so, you should gently stroke the area in the direction of the nipple.
  • Moist warm compresses applied for 1 to 3 minutes before latching on can help the milk flow.
  • If the problem is severe, the breast can be emptied slightly by hand or an electric pump before breastfeeding.
  • The congestion is usually relieved after one to two days, and the breast is no longer tender.

Breast inflammation (mastitis)

Mastitis is often the result of milk engorgement or sore nipples. If the nipple does not lie optimally in the child’s mouth during sucking, the palate rubs against it and squeezes it. The tongue may also “rub” over the nipple tip. Over time, the nipple becomes sore and eventually complex and sensitive to pressure. Often, breast inflammation is accompanied by fever, and it ultimately becomes hot and red in the affected area. If left untreated, there is a risk of abscess formation. However, in most cases, this is not a reason to stop breastfeeding!

Common causes are:

  • The child does not have the nipple properly in the mouth.
  • The pauses between the child’s meals are (suddenly) too long.
  • Stress or overwork impair the milk flow reflex.
  • As a result of an inflamed nipple, pathogens have entered the breast.
  • The child does not feel well and therefore drinks poorly.

What to do.

  • Keep the breast empty by feeding your child more frequently. The child’s lower jaw should be on the side where the focus of inflammation is.
  • The child should be latched on when they are not yet hungry because it is easier to correct the sucking behavior.
  • Warm the inflamed area, especially before breastfeeding (place your hand on it, apply a warm washcloth or potato wrap).
  • In between, ice packs will relieve the pain.
  • Wear loose clothing.

If there is no improvement within 24 hours, you must see a doctor who will prescribe an antibiotic depending on the findings.
If the child is sick and no longer feeds appropriately at the breast, you should pump and temporarily give the milk by bottle. Hope you enjoyed our article “tips on how to breastfeed”. If you found it useful, please share it on your social media.

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1 Comment

  1. Linda says:

    So true, i had issues at first also. Good to know I’m not alone.

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