So you have made the decision to breastfeed you baby, now what? Well you need to learn the proper ways to hold your baby while you are feeding. The important part is to make it comfortable for you and your child. We will cover the proper way to hold baby and to make sure he/she can properly latch on and get plenty of milk.
Sit up in a bed or a comfortable chair. Make sure you are comfortable and completely relaxed. Pillows will be required, put them behind you, on your lap to support your child and under your elbow. Use a footstool to bring your knees up or you can place pillows under your knees if you are sitting on a bed. Some people prefer to use a rocking chair to rock their baby while feeding. The most important part is to find a location where you are both comfortable.
Face the baby toward you on his/her side with one of your arms supporting the head and the hand free to make sure your breast does not constrict breathing. When you first have a child sometimes your breasts are swollen to a size that could interfere with the baby’s breathing. Sometimes some women produce too much milk, some people choose to extract some of the excess fluid using a breast pump or simply letting the baby feed for a couple minutes and then allowing their breast to drain into a cup. You may or may not need to do this. This also helps slow down the flow of milk which can prevent them from swallowing air which can lead to gas and discomfort. After about 5 minutes of feeding you can place the child over your shoulder and gently pat their back to promote burping. Then resume feeding once again.
After nursing a child, most of the time they will fall asleep. If not, you can rock them for a few minutes and then lay them down. Most of they time they will fall asleep almost immediately. Infants require a lot of sleep at first due to their tiny bodies growing so fast. Most babies want to breastfeed every three to four hours.
Some people lay down while breastfeeding. This is not something recommended for a new born. You face the risk of falling asleep and the baby could possible become injured.
Breastfeeding might seem intimidating at first but not to worry, you will develop your own techniques and it will very quickly become second nature.
Final note: Some people have discovered that if you feed you baby a solid food such as baby cereal made for infants, they baby will tend to sleep a little longer during the night due to the amount of time it takes to digest more complex and solid foods. This can help to allow you to get a few more hours of sleep during the night while your child is sleeping.