Breastfeeding sounds so simple, our bodies are designed to do this, but when it actually comes to feeding baby it can be a difficult skill to master.
Breastfeeding is both new to you mum and baby, but with a little practise and patience you will both get the hang of it, and it will become second nature. When baby is born your midwife will be on hand to help them latch on, although some babies manage to find their way themselves.
There are a number of different positions that you can try and you may find one works better than others, it's all about finding what feels most comfortable for you both. Feeding Positions The most common position is the cradle position which involves holding baby across your body with their nose level with your nipple. As baby’s mouth is below your nipple they need to tip their head back so they can reach your nipple which helps them make a wide, open mouth.
When they tip their head back, their chin should touch your breast first and then their open mouth wide over your nipple and their little nose clear above.
When in position, you should be able to see more of your nipple above baby’s top lip than below their bottom lip and their cheeks should be full and rounded when feeding. If you find this position uncomfortable, then do ask your midwife or health visitor for different positions, like the ruby hold and also lying on your side, which may help particularly if your nipple becomes sore when you first start feeding baby. When baby has finished feeding on one side, always offer them your other breast and then start on that side the next time they are due a feed. When baby has finished feeding then it is important to burp baby to remove any air bubbles that may have become trapped.
Place a muslin cloth over your shoulder and place baby’s head onto your shoulder supporting their head and neck and gently rub or pat baby’s back.
Again there are other ways to do this, ask your midwife or health visitor if you find this doesn’t work for you. Breastfeeding can take a little time to get use to so if you or baby struggle at first, don’t give up but get help.
If you are not getting anywhere with your midwife or health visitor then call the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212 for advice between 9.30am – 9.30pm every day.