We at GreatDad.com are big believers in breastfeeding and strongly urge you to do all you can to support mom. The first meals, especially, can be a challenge as milk may not come in right away. The baby may not know what to do and the mom, if she has not breastfed before, may be equally lost.
Here is a simple beginner’s guide to breastfeeding:
- The mother usually holds the breast with the thumb on top and the other fingers below the breast. The areola, the circle of dark skin around the nipple should be free to enter the baby’s mouth.
- Holding the breast, the mother encourages the baby to suckle by touching the nipple to the baby’s lips. Once the baby’s jaw is around the nipple, she needs to hold the baby close to her. This will squeeze the breast and enable the baby to start suckling.
- The areola should be completely inside the baby’s mouth. The baby’s lips should pout out over the breast, rather than be pulled in. If the baby is correctly latched on and drinking, swallowing sounds will be audible.
- In case of any concerns regarding the baby’s breathing, the mother may press down on the breast near the baby’s nose to facilitate easy breathing.
- Whichever position the mother chooses, she should ensure that there is no strain to the baby’s head or neck.