Breastfeeding is by no means an easy feat, and for first-time mothers, there’s a lot of trial and error involved in making sure that your child is well attached so that they can drink breastmilk properly. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to having a good attachment to breastfeeding.
How to have a good attachment to breastfeeding
How effectively you can nurse depends on how your baby is positioned and fastened to your breast. As long as they are attached and positioned correctly, your baby will feed successfully and you won’t have any pain.
When you first start nursing, you could feel some discomfort, but you’ll get used to it. Choose one of the various breastfeeding positions that are convenient for both you and your infant.
When your child has a good attachment to breastfeeding:
- Their chin touches your breast.
- They have their mouths open.
- Instead of sucked-in or dimpled cheeks, they have broad, round ones.
- Their sucks grow longer and become slower.
- Your child’s top lip has some of your breasts visible.
- You have a strong pulling sensation.
- An infant who is being breastfed and is eating properly does not make slurping or smacking noises. They’re full and groggy after they’ve finished eating.
If your child has no good attachment to breastfeeding:
- Breastfeeding is painful.
- They suck shortly.
- They have hollow cheeks and dimples
- They frequently slip off the breast and are restless.
If your newborn is in a neonatal or special care unit after birth, you could be urged to try kangaroo care once they are healthy enough.
The act of holding your baby close to you while it is often just in a diaper is known as kangaroo care. This skin-to-skin contact helps you bond with your premature baby and increases milk production.
There are various methods for figuring out if your baby is getting enough milk.
- Your infant starts by sucking quickly a few times, then gradually slows down.
- Their cheeks are round rather than drawn in, and you can hear them swallowing.
- Your baby seems content while being fed, and when they are done, they take their own hands away from your breast.
How to make breastfeeding more comfortable: A step-by-step guide
Make sure that both you and your baby are calm and relaxed. This will make breastfeeding comfortable and easy for both you and your baby.
Knowing the signs of when your baby wants to feed is also very helpful. As a general rule, if your baby moves his or her head from side to side with their mouth open, that means that they want to feed.
To start the feeding, move your baby close to you, and make sure that his or her chest is touching yours. Remember to bring your baby to your breast, and not your breast to your baby.
The next step would be to bring your baby to your nipple. As your baby tips their head back, the top lip should brush over your nipple. This would encourage them to open their mouth wide.
When your baby’s mouth is wide open, hug your baby to your breast so that your baby can take your breast into his or her mouth with his or her chin leading.
To know if you have a good attachment, your baby should have a large mouthful of breast and your nipple should be positioned far back in his or her mouth. This way, breastfeeding will be more comfortable and your baby will be able to get all the milk that he or she needs.
Another sign of good attachment is that there will be little to no pain, however for first-time breastfeeding mothers, there might be some pain when you breastfeed.
Here is a video from the Australian Breastfeeding Association with more detailed steps:
Attachment breastfeeding: Comfortable breastfeeding positions newborn
You can nurse your baby in a number of different positions. When you have your first kid and are breastfeeding for the first time, you may want to attempt some of the common breastfeeding positions that you have heard about or seen.
After that, you can experiment with various postures as your confidence improves. The ones that are most helpful and enjoyable for you and your child will become clear to you quickly. Here are some comfortable breastfeeding positions for newborns according to Very Well Family.
1. Cradle Hold
Photo by Wendy Wei
The cradle hold is likely the most typical breastfeeding position. While breastfeeding in this position may be difficult at first, it becomes a frequent and comfortable practice if your baby can latch on properly.
Photo by Jonathan Borba
As soon as you start nursing, you can start using this natural position. Everyone should do it, however preterm infants, twins, and infants who have trouble latching on may benefit most from nursing.
The side-lying position is best when you’re weary and want to nurse while lying down. It is a highly natural alternative for nighttime feedings, and mothers who have had a c-section notably benefit from it.
4. Cross-cradle Hold
The cross-cradle or crossing hold works well with breastfeeding preemies, neonates, and infants who have trouble latching on. From this position, it is easier to view your nipple and your child’s mouth. Because you are holding your baby’s head, you have more control to aid in the development of a healthy latch.
5. Football Hold
Photo from: Swedish.org
The clutch hold, commonly referred to as the football position, is the best position for nursing twins. It is also a great posture for nursing after a cesarean section because the baby doesn’t lie across your abdomen.
Mothers with enormous breasts and those who have flat or inverted nipples may also choose this procedure. It’s an additional position that allows you to see your nipples and your baby’s mouth more clearly.
How to make breastfeeding more comfortable: Taking care of yourself while breastfeeding
Breastfeeding mothers frequently overlook the fact that they also need to look after themselves. There are several factors to take into account, including recalling the baby’s most recent feeding, examining the baby’s placement and latch, and choosing comfortable breastfeeding positions for newborns.
But it’s crucial to take care of your needs as well as those of your child. Here are some suggestions for self-care for nursing mothers.
Instead of pushing yourself to reach unimaginable fitness goals, concentrate on choosing a realistic, sustainable exercise that you love and that makes you feel good. Start a low-intensity workout, drink plenty of water, and take care of your hygiene.
2. Eat healthy and consider weight loss
Remember that the meals you eat may have an impact on your ability to lose weight. Your body needs more calories while breastfeeding. But if you aren’t and you’re consistently consuming more calories than your body needs, you will gain weight.
Focus on providing your body with healthy foods, and have healthful, filling snacks handy to the area where you nurse the most. A balanced diet and exercise can help you lose weight.
3. Caring for your breasts
It’s important to practice good hygiene when breastfeeding, which includes cleansing your breasts and taking a daily shower or bath. It’s been known for a long time that nursing women shouldn’t wash their breasts with soap because doing so will dry out the nipple area. But if you use a mild, moisturizing soap and thoroughly rinse it off, this shouldn’t be a problem.
4. Getting some help
Although breastfeeding can be incredibly rewarding, there can also be challenges, concerns, and disappointments. Think about the people you can turn to in your life for wise advice and motivation. It may be a good friend, your partner, your mother, your sister, your therapist, your spouse, or even your mother.
If you don’t already have a solid support system of friends and family, consider joining a local or online breastfeeding support group. You never know when a challenge with breastfeeding will come up and you’ll need support to get through it.
Additional information from Margaux Dolores
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