How to breastfeed
How you choose to feed your baby is entirely your decision. It's good to know all of your options from the outset to help you make the choice that's right for you, your partner and your baby.
Why should I breastfeed my baby?
Breastfeeding helps to give your baby the best start in life. Not only does breastmilk give your baby the nutrients they need to protect them from infections and diseases, it also provides many health benefits, too.
Before you start, make sure that you are comfortable. This might be sat down with your back straight and supported by cushions. To help bring your baby closer to your breast, place a cushion on your lap, this way you can relax your shoulders and arms.
Hold your baby across your lap, resting their head in the crook of your arm. Try and position them in a straight line so their head and body are aligned - this will make it easier for them to swallow. Make sure their nose is facing your nipple and you are supporting their neck, shoulders and back as they tilt their head back.
Once your baby’s nose is opposite your nipple they should open their mouth wide enough to cover your nipple and the lower part of your areola. If they don’t open their mouth, you can encourage this by gently stroking their lips with your nipple.
You will know if your baby has latched on well if your nipple is pointed towards the roof of their mouth and their chin is touching your breast. Once your milk begins to flow you will be able to hear your baby swallowing. As you continue to feed, your breasts will start to feel tingly which is completely normal.
After feeding, offer your other breast in case your baby is still hungry. If they’ve had enough they will usually let go or fall asleep. Just try to remember to offer the breast you haven’t used next time.
Is my baby getting enough milk?
Your baby will get into their own feeding routine, feeding frequently throughout the day will stimulate a steady milk supply as your body will produce milk if it’s being used.
If you’re not sure that your baby is drinking enough milk, look out for these signs of success:
• You hear your baby swallow during feeding
• Your baby produces around six wet nappies and two soft, yellow poos a day.
• Your baby steadily gains weight
• Your baby seems satisfied after a feed
• Your breasts feel soft after feeding
If you’re still unsure, watch out for your baby’s “I’m hungry” cues, such as:
• Sucking their hands or fingers
• ‘Rooting’ - turning their head and opening their mouth as if they’re ready to latch on
Ask for help
Breastfeeding and the pressure to breastfeed can be intimidating for new mums, particularly if this is your first baby.
Remember, you’re not alone. Lean on your other half for a bit of moral support if you’re struggling. You can also talk to your mum friends or join some online forums for advice. Or if you’re interested in getting support in your local area, ask your midwife for recommendations.
Important advice for you
Breastfeeding gives your baby the best start in life. The World Health Organisation recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of your baby’s life, followed by continued breastfeeding together with complementary foods.
Breastmilk promotes your baby’s sensory and cognitive development, it protects your baby against infectious and chronic diseases and can help your baby to recover quicker during illness.
Unlike infant milks, breastfeeding also contributes to your health and well-being, reducing the risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer. It can also build a strong emotional bond between you and your baby.
Breastfeeding is safe for the environment. You should also consider the social and financial implications of using infant milk. It is important for you to eat a healthy, balanced diet during your pregnancy and as you breastfeed. Combining breastfeeding and bottle feeding may reduce your breast milk supply and it may be difficult to reverse the decision not to breastfeed.
Please take advice from your healthcare professional before using Baby & Me Organic. If you do choose to use our products, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions very carefully as incorrect preparation may make your baby ill.
The content provided in this article is for information purposes only and should not be regarded as medical advice. Please consult a doctor, midwife or healthcare professional if you have any questions or concerns about your or your child’s health.