4 steps to breastfeeding success

September 06, 2013 12:00 AM by

Breastfeeding Step-by-Step

Learn your baby’s signs of hunger. She may root or nuzzle your breast, move her mouth as though she’s feeding, and become more fussy or alert. Start by finding a comfortable position. Use pillows to support your arms and back, and position your baby so that her whole body—not just her head—is facing you.

Help your baby latch on the right way. Her mouth should cover all of the pigmented area of you breast—not just the nipple—or she’ll have a frustrating feed, and you’ll have sore breasts. If she doesn’t seem interested, gently stroke her cheek with your finger or let her suck on your finger for a few seconds—this will usually trigger her feeding reflex.

Start with a 5-minute feeding on each breast, and gradually extend to a 10- to 15-minute feeding. Let your baby decide when she’s full and when she’s hungry. And there should be no cut-off: If she’s happy sucking and you’re both comfortable, it’s fine for her to continue nursing as long as she likes.

When she’s done, gently pat her back to burp her. Even if she doesn’t burp out loud every time, the burp helps rid her tummy of troublesome gas.

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