started | technique
| how often to feed | problems
most important period in establishing breastfeeding
is the first week. In the early days, both the mother
and baby are learning how to breastfeed.
The earliest days are the hardest, but with a little
knowledge you can do it successfully!
The earlier you put the baby to the breast, the earlier
the breastmilk should come. Don't wait for the milk
to come before starting. The breasts work by "supply
The early hours and days are also important due to the
substance your breasts produce at this time. This thin,
cloudy, yellow substance is called colostrum and is
of enormous value to your baby.
There is absolutely no substitute for colostrum in doing
good for your baby. It gives him or her protection against
disease that will last for several months. Don't let
it go to waste!
important to give new babies nothing other than breastmilk.
Honey, water, coconut water, paps and so on should not
be fed to new born babies. Apart from making breastfeeding
harder, giving water to a new born baby can also be
dangerous because the water may have invisible dirt.
If you start feeding a baby other things, you can easily
move closer and closer to bottlefeeding even if you
don't really want to and your breasts will produce less
milk. Once that happens it is usually very hard to get
back to breastfeeding again.
During the early days the nipple is getting used to
being taken into baby's mouth and baby is learning how
to feed from the nipple. It's important for both of
you to be relaxed and comfortable, you may be feeding
for an hour or so.
A baby may not yet know how to open his or her mouth
widely enough. If this happens, you can squeeze out
a little milk from your breast, open baby's mouth with
your clean finger, and put a little milk in to start
for the baby's mouth to open, then guides the breast
in - not just the nipple. To suck properly, the baby
squeezes the area behind the nipple with his or her
When the baby finishes sucking the first breast, put
your finger into the baby's mouth to release the sucking,
and offer the other breast. And next feed, start the
other way round. When the baby has had enough, he or
she will just fall asleep.
Give as much skin contact as possible and stroke baby's
cheek. Let the baby's hand stroke your breast in return.Looking
into the babies eyes and talking to the baby are all
part of breastfeeding.
It's baby's sucking which stimulates the breast to store
milk in the first place. That's why sometimes we feel
that we have a "lazy" breast, one that doesn't seem
to produce as much milk as the other one. Often, it's
because it has received less sucking. It's important
that, as time goes on, you use both breasts.
Each time you feed, you should stay on one breast until
it feels empty - at least ten to fifteen minutes. This
is because the milk that comes at the end of a feed
is much richer and more satisfying.
How often to feed
exactly is the sign that baby is hungry? Unfortunately,
many mothers think that a baby is only hungry when it
cries. But crying is a baby's last resort! Other signs
include putting a finger in the mouth, and turning the
head from side to side looking for the breast.
whenever the baby is hungry may be tiring but it's the
best thing. It's not 'spoiling' a baby - a baby who
has had to wait to feed will only be in a bad mood -
and frequent feeding helps to keep the milk flow strong.
Sometimes, particularly in the early weeks, a mother
can feel like she is breastfeeding all the time. Many
mothers want to be more than just "breasts on legs"
for our babies. Many mothers have to go out to work
to have work to do in the house. But it's perfectly
possible to breastfeed and go out to work. Knowing how
to "express" (squeeze out) breastmilk, and storing a
day's feeds in sterilised bottles in a fridge, can help
| Pain | Engorgement
It can be easy to get discouraged when you are trying
to breastfeed. For example, the baby can be crying or
your family can be worried that the baby is hungry or
not getting enough to eat.
Probably the most important thing about breastfeeding
is what's going on in the mother's head. Breastmilk
flow is controlled by the brain. Anything that affects
the brain affects breastmilk production; so things like
worry, pain, or stress of any form can hinder breastmilk
women worry because they think they are not breastfeeding
properly. In fact, worry and stress can be the cause
of breastfeeding problems. Therefore i's very important
to try to be relaxed.
here, the family have a role to play. People around
a nursing mother should be careful about what they say.
Saying things like, for example, 'How can you breastfeed,
you have such small breasts' can really hinder the ability
size has absolutely nothing to do with how much milk
breasts can produce. However, what realtions say and
do around a nursing mother does.
painful nipples can be very distressing, but it usually
is not serious or longlasting. Perhaps the baby is only
sucking on the nipple and not the dark area behind.
problems with your nipples will go if you ensure cleanliness
and go on breastfeeding, but getting the help of someone
who you trust and who knows a lot about breastfeeding
is always a good idea.
A time when you should be worried and look for medical
help immediately is if you have a tender lump which
lasts more than one day, especially if you feel ill
four days after birth, a mother's breasts can become
big, hard and painful. This is called "engorgement".
can make it hard for a baby to "latch on" or get his
or her mouth around the important dark bit around the
nipple. Any engorgement should only last about two days,
so try and carry on breastfeeding. Perseverence is so
important when breastfeeding. Just offer the breast
when baby wants to suckle, stay confident, and let the
baby suck when it wants to.
with a Baby
Feeding a Baby
How to Breastfeed
How to Bottlefeed
Feelings after having
Families with New