Babies are born with the reflexes needed to nurse, but that doesn’t mean it happens easily. In addition to the pointers on how to breastfeed below, you can get more tips from a lactation consultant, doula, doctor, nurse, or peer counselor. Or you can also try talking to a friend who has breastfed.
Breastfeeding Tip #1. Help your baby latch
Pull your baby close so their chin hits your breast. This should make your baby’s mouth open wide. Stroking their cheek or lips also encourages this response. Aim the lower lip well below your nipple so your baby gets a mouthful of breast—this shouldn’t hurt, so if it does, try to readjust.
Breastfeeding Tip #2. Find a comfortable position
It’s better not to lean forward or back. If it helps, tuck a pillow behind your back for support. A nursing pillow can help make it easier to support your baby. Switching between different positions can also prevent soreness and clogged milk ducts.
Breastfeeding Tip #3. Keep up your milk supply
Let your baby nurse on-demand and alternate which breast you offer first. Or, offer both breasts at each feeding.
With breastfeeding, the skin-on-skin contact provides an added source of comfort and can help make feedings easier. Talking softly to your baby during feedings can also help. Your baby has heard your voice for months while in your womb, so now it’s a comforting and familiar sound to them out in the real world.
With practice and time, you and your baby will learn how to breastfeed together. Then, you’ll both be on to your next adventure in babyhood.