Getting baby on the breast

Although natural, breastfeeding is a learned art. To be successful you have to take the time to master it and surround yourself with friends and whanau who support your decision to breastfeed. Research tells us that the people who have the most impact on our breastfeeding success are our partners and mothers so make sure you’ve got them onside.

Top 10 Tips

1. The first thing to think about is position. There are four positions to choose from – cradle, transitional cross-cradle, football hold or lying down on your side breastfeeding. Cradle is probably the easiest to begin with but talk to your midwife or lactation consultant.

2. It’s important to latch your baby on correctly. Bring your baby to your breast, rather than your breast to your baby.

3. Your baby’s nose needs to be opposite your nipple and their chin off your chest.

4. Their bottom lip should make contact with the darker area around the nipple (the areola) or the breast first, and be well away from the base of your nipple.

5. Their lips should be flared or turned outward and cover more of the areola with the bottom lip than with the top lip.

6. Your baby should be able to have eye contact with you and have their nose clear for breathing.

7. You may experience some discomfort when your baby first latches on, but this shouldn’t last longer than a few seconds.

8. If your breast remains sore, gently break your baby’s suction with your little finger, and try again.

9. If pain persists, ask for help from your midwife, Plunket nurse or lactation consultant. They will show you how to latch on correctly.

10. Remember, it takes time to master breastfeeding so be kind to yourself.

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