How do I Begin Breastfeeding?






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When you are having a new baby, you want to provide that baby with everything that they need to have a safe and happy life. One of the best ways to begin their life is to breastfeed.

This is also one of the best ways to bond with your new baby right from the start. There are some fantastic techniques to ensure that this process is successful and they are all detailed below in this handy guide to breastfeeding.


Breastfeeding is very healthy for your baby and chances are it will be promoted by both your doctor and the hospital that you are staying in. There will be many classes available for you to learn more about the process, but it is a good idea to have a plan as to how to start breastfeeding once you get home.

1. Make yourself comfortable

You should start by making yourself comfortable. Having everything that you need, such as a pillow, a comfortable chair and a glass of water, up front is very important so that you do not need to disturb your baby while she is eating.


2. Decide which side you want your baby to start first

When you are situated, you should decide which side that you want your baby to start first. Most people are right handed, so usually this is the side that most mothers will choose first. Hold your baby in your arms supporting her head with the bend of your elbow. Use the pillow to prop your arm up to a more comfortable location.

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3. Offer your breast for her to suckle on

After you have your baby comfortably in place, you should offer your breast for her to suckle on. To do this, turn your baby towards your body and gently guide your nipple towards your baby’s mouth. By gently rubbing her mouth with your nipple, your baby will begin to open her mouth to eat.


4. Gently guide your baby’s body as close to yours as possible

As your baby begins to try and feed, you will want to adjust her as much as possible. To do this, gently guide your baby’s body as close to yours as possible and encourage her to open her mouth as wide as possible by applying gentle pressure on her chin with your left hand. This allows as much as your nipple to enter her mouth as possible, which means that she will be able to receive the maximum amount of milk with each suck.


5. Drink plenty of liquids

While your baby is eating, make sure that you are drinking plenty of liquids in order to ensure that you are making enough milk to feed your baby. Breastfeeding women should also consume larger amounts of fluids each day in order to keep up with their demanding baby and to be certain that they are receiving the proper amount of nutrients and fluids that they need for themselves. make-sure-to-drink-more-fluids

6. Switch sides every fifteen to twenty minutes

After about fifteen to twenty minutes you will want to switch sides and begin the process with your left breast. Make sure that you are switching sides regularly in order to make sure that each of your breasts are releasing the same amount of milk in each sitting. If your breast does not empty, you may find it extremely painful and some of your milk ducts may become blocked causing breastfeeding to become difficult.


7. Burp your baby twice

You should also burp your baby twice; once after he finishes with each breast so that gas will not accumulate in his stomach. This is the best way to keep him comfortable and to prepare him for the next round of feeding that is certain to occur soon.


8. Empty each breast if you are pumping 

If you are pumping along with breastfeeding, you should also be careful to empty each breast during the process. Be sure that you save your breast milk in sterile containers or bags that were meant for the sole purpose of breast milk.


9. Talk to your doctor 

If you are having difficulty breastfeeding, your doctor may be able to help you by offering tips or techniques that have been effective for others. Although breastfeeding can be very beneficial to your baby and you can bond quickly with her, do not take it personally if you are unable to breast feed in the long run. Not every woman is capable of breastfeeding and some babies are even found to be allergic to it.


If you are experiencing emotional problems in relation to your baby or to breastfeeding in general, it is important to talk to your doctor at once. Although this is a common occurrence, it is one that should be addressed quickly in order to avoid long term effects.

Ms. Wisniewski has over 15 years experience as a labor and delivery nurse, having also worked previously as a nurse midwife in the Philippines and India. She enjoys empowering women and providing family centered care to women from all cultural and educational backgrounds.