The breastfeeding techniques is a learned skill for both the baby and her mother that needs to be practiced. It requires quite some time and a lot of patience to get used to it. Since both the nurturing and nutritional needs are met through breastfeeding; therefore, it allows developing an emotional bond between a mother and her baby in a unique and incomparable way.
In this article, you will learn how you can get started with breastfeeding, as well as some basic breastfeeding techniques in which you can breastfeed your little one.
When to start Breastfeeding Techniques/Timings
Various researchers show that the first six to seven days after giving birth are the most significant days for breastfeeding techniques success. It is important to breastfeed a baby as soon as possible, immediately after delivery. For this, placing a newborn on a mother’s chest immediately after delivery is of utmost importance as this helps in establishing a strong bond between a mother and a newborn, resulting in success in early breastfeeding.
If possible, allowing the baby to form an attachment with his or her mother impulsively within the first hour of life will help to make breastfeeding techniques a success. Various other nursery practices, such as weighing the newborn, management of vitamin K, and use of ocular antibiotics can be safely postponed until after the first breastfeeding.
Moreover, for the first few weeks, you need to breastfeed your baby every one to three hours. As you start feeding regularly, your supply of milk will increase. In addition, it is essential to get the aid you need through these tough times. Since fatigue, discomfort, tiresome and medications may be the major factors in doubting about carrying on breastfeeding; therefore, opt for getting help with the infant care and household chores as this will allow time for taking rest and comfort.
Environment For Breastfeeding
Create a peaceful environment for breastfeeding techniques, and let yourself be comfortable and relaxed. You can choose any comfortable place, such as a soft bed or a broad, relaxing chair with armrests with enough room on the back and sides for pillows in order to support the arms as well as the baby. You may use pillows under your legs or footstool when in a chair to help you be comfortable while breastfeeding.
check your baby’s diaper before breastfeeding, and change it if required. However, if your baby is up and ready to breastfeed, it is suggested to wait until, after the first breastfeed, to change the diaper of your baby.
How to breastfeed effectively: Basic Breastfeeding techniques
Mothers, especially those who are having a baby for the first time, should know different breastfeeding techniques or positions in order to nurse their babies in a right and easy way. There are a number of techniques that can be used to breastfeed a baby effectively. Some of the basic and most common breastfeeding techniques are discussed as under:
Basic Breastfeeding techniques (or positions)
Generally, there are four basic techniques or positions in which you can breastfeed your baby. These are as follows:
1. Cradle hold or traditional position
Since breastfeeding may be an awkward experience for a number of mothers, especially for first-time moms; therefore, it is better to try out different breastfeeding techniques until you feel comfortable. In this position, you need to sit up straight if possible, in an easy and comfortable chair with armrests. Hold your baby in an arm, with his or her head resting comfortably in the crook of your elbow while facing your breast. You can place a pillow on your lap for extra support.
Give support to the back of his or her head with your open hand. By using the other hand, grasp your breast from the underneath in a U-shaped hold. Instead of bending over or leaning forward, hold your baby close to your breast, and guide his or her mouth to your breast.
2. Cross cradle hold or transition hold Breastfeeding Techniques
The cross-cradle hold (also known as transition hold) is similar to the cradle hold, but you hold the baby with the arm on the opposite side as the nursing breast, instead of the same arm.The cross-cradle hold is considered as the ideal position for breastfeeding, especially for early breastfeeding. This is the best breastfeeding technique for mothers having small babies, or large breasts, or inverted nipples, or they have latching on problems.
As with the cradle hold, you need to sit up straight in an easy and comfortable chair with armrests. Hold your baby across the front of your body, belly to belly. Now hold your baby in the crook of the arm opposite the breast you are feeding on, i.e. right arm for the left breast, and left arm for the right breast. Give support to the back of his or her head with your open hand. By using the other hand, grasp your breast from the underneath in a U-shaped hold. Instead of bending over or leaning forward, hold your baby close to your breast, and guide his or her mouth to your breast.
3. Football hold, or clutch hold
This breastfeeding position is considered as the most comfortable and relaxing position for women who have had a C-section (cesarean) as well as it is the best one for women with large breasts. This technique is best for mothers having premature babies or fast let-down reflexes or mothers with large breasts. By slightly bending your elbow, bring your baby at your side. Open your hand, hold his or her head, and face your baby toward your breast. Your forearm will provide support to your baby’s back. Holding your breast in a C-shape with your other hand might help to provide support to the breast. Moreover, you can use a chair with wide, low arms, as well as can place a pillow on your lap for extra support.
4. Side lying
A side lying position is also a comfortable position for women who have had a C-section as well as for those mothers with large breasts. Moreover, it is the perfect choice when you are too tired to breastfeed your child while sitting up. However, make sure to return your baby to his or her own bed to sleep after breastfeeding him or her.
In this position, you need to lie on your side, facing your baby toward your breast by providing him or her support with one hand. By using the other hand, hold your breast and touch your nipple to the lips of your baby. Once he or she latches on, support your own head with one arm and help support the baby using the other arm. You can also use a large pillow behind your baby’s back to provide him or her support. This will allow you to provide minimal support to your baby’s back with your arm.