National Breastfeeding Month: Tips for New Moms

Experienced moms who have had children can make breastfeeding look natural and effortless. But for a first-time mom, this process can be rather challenging and confusing. It takes quite a bit of getting used to, and you may need some help to get going. It is okay if you initially have a bit of trouble; all moms have experienced it.


Knowing the technique, mechanics, and logistics will help you get good at breastfeeding. These will help you feel more empowered and confident when you feed your baby.




There are three main ways for you to hold your baby to breastfeed.


The Reclined Position


In this position, the baby is straddled sideways across your stomach. It allows you to become comfortable reclining instead of lying down. It is the most intuitive of the positions for both babies and mothers.


The Cradle Hold

The cradle hold is the most common of the breastfeeding positions. You usually sit upright, hold your baby across your lap, and wrap your baby in your arms. The child will lay their head on your forearm while their body is against your stomach. If you go for this position, you may find that using a pillow to prop up your baby on your lap and one for your back will make it easier.


The Clutch

This position is also known as the football hold or the underarm. You sit with your baby resting on your forearm, and then you tuck their body either on the left or right side. The clutch is great because you look at your baby's face as it feeds. In this position, you may also need to use the two pillows as in the cradle hold.




Hold Your Baby


Your baby should be in a proper position to make swallowing easy. Their head should align with the rest of their body, and the front should face yours.


Tickle the Baby's Lips


You can try to tickle your baby's lips with your nipple to get them to open their mouth wide. It should be like they are yawning. If your baby does not open up, try squeezing some milk into their mouth.


Turning Away


If you notice your baby turning away, you can stroke the side of the cheek closest to you. It will induce a rooting effect that will cause them to turn towards your breast.


Let Your Baby Move Toward You


When your baby's mouth is open, do not push your breast into their mouth; instead, let your baby take the initiative. Hold your breast until the baby has a firm grip and is suckling well.



This mainly deals with knowing when your baby has had enough milk.



Each breastfeeding session will usually last between 20 and 30 minutes. This period is the average time your baby needs; however, they may need to feed for longer during growth spurts.


Drain One Breast at a Time


Draining one breast during a feeding session would be best because the hind milk is richer in fats. Hind milk refers to the last mature milk the baby feeds on. So, you should wait until the baby is done with one breast, then offer the other breast.


For more tips on breastfeeding for new moms, contact Partners in Obstetrics & Women's Health at our office in New Lenox, Illinois. You can call (815) 240-0554 to book an appointment today.

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