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How to bring the baby to the breast

Created by: Melissa Werner
Posted : Monday January 01, 1900
Use proper positioning for baby's mouth and when holding baby

Get an early start. You should start nursing as early as you can after delivery (within an hour or two if it is possible), when your baby is awake and the sucking instinct is strong. At first your breasts contain a kind of milk called colostrum, which is thick and usually yellow or golden in color. Colostrum is gentle to your baby's stomach and helps protect your baby from disease. Your milk supply will increase and the color will change to a bluish-white color during the next few days after your baby's birth.

Use proper positioning for baby's mouth and when holding baby.

  • Support your breast with your thumb on top and four fingers underneath. Keep your fingers behind the areola (the darker skin around the nipple). You may need to support your breast during the whole feeding, especially in the early days or if your breasts are large.
  • Brush or tickle your baby's lips with your nipple to encourage the baby's mouth to open wide.
  • Hug the baby in close with his or her whole body facing yours. Your baby will take a mouthful of all of the nipple and most of the areola. The baby should never be latched onto the nipple only.
  • Look for both of your baby's lips to be turned out (not tucked in or under) and relaxed. If you can't tell if the lower lip is out, press gently on the lower chin to pull the lower lip out. The tongue should be cupped under your breast.
  • You may see your baby's jaw move back and forth and hear low-pitched swallowing noises. Your baby's nose and chin may touch your breast.

Breastfeeding should not hurt. If it hurts, take the baby off of your breast and try again. The baby may not be latched on right. Break your baby's suction to your breast by gently placing your finger in the corner of his/her mouth.

How to bring the baby to the breast:

1 - Tickle baby's lips to encourage him to open wide.

2 - When open wide, pull him onto the breast chin first.

3 - When baby is latched on well, his/her nose and chin touch your breast.

PROPER POSITION OF BABY'S MOUTH AROUND NIPPLE: Note that baby's lips are around the nipple AND the areola, and the nose and chin are touching the breast. Baby's lips are turned out or "flanged," not tucked in.

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