The Basics of Breastfeeding & How to Get A Proper Latch
August 6, 2015
Despite common perceptions, breastfeeding does not come easily to everyone. Breastfeeding can be an overwhelming process that takes time to master for both mom and baby. August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, so we wanted to share some basic information for new mothers learning how to breastfeed.
Getting Started Breastfeeding
It’s important to start breastfeeding as soon as possible after pregnancy. Unless otherwise instructed by your healthcare provider, try to make sure your baby stays in the hospital room with you so you can breastfeed early and often. Women typically breastfeed 8-12 times every 24 hours, for 12 to 15 minutes per breast. But keep in mind there is no set time you must breastfeed. Your baby will best determine when he or she is finished. Ask the hospital staff if it is advisable to avoid giving the baby any formula or a pacifier, as this may promote them latching to your breast as opposed to an artificial nipple.
Mothers make milk in response to the baby suckling, so you will naturally make more. Breastfeeding is very individualized. The ultimate goal is to get your baby to latch on to the breast and start eating — so don’t stress on the method. The illustration below shows a proper, deep latch during breastfeeding.
Getting Your Baby to Latch
Babies naturally move their head looking for the breast to feed. Try following these steps to bring your baby to the breast and ensure a proper latch:
- Hold your baby upright against your bare chest with the baby’s head under your chin. The skin-to-skin contact will naturally encourage the baby to nuzzle up to you. Plus, it’s great way to promote bonding between mother and baby.
- Use one hand to support your baby’s neck and shoulders, while your other hand supports the hips.
- Tilt the head backwards slightly. As the baby’s mouth opens, the tongue will go down and the breast will naturally be able to fit into the mouth onto the tongue.
- On touching the breast, your baby’s mouth will open. You can also guide the baby to your nipple.
- As the chin touches the breast, your baby’s mouth will open wider for a deeper latch.
- Support your baby’s back and shoulders by tilting slightly back with your palm. Then pull you baby in closer and settle into your preferred position.
Before you leave the hospital, be sure to talk to the hospital staff about meeting with a lactation specialists for any questions you may have. If you feel that your baby is not getting enough milk, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.
Nutritional Demands on Mom & Baby’s Growth
While breastfeeding you are still “eating for two”; so nutritional demands are even greater than during pregnancy. After pregnancy, many women do not have enough nutrients stored in their bodies. This is because many nutrients go to the baby via the umbilical cord, and later via breast milk, before letting your body use them. If your baby is not receiving adequate nutrition through your diet, your baby will have to rely on your body stores, which may lead to nutrient deficiencies for you.
After birth, babies develop significantly in ways we can and can’t see. In addition to their growth spurt, the brain and eyes actively gather DHA to set the stage for IQ, vision and behavior. Also, the sterile gut the baby was born with acquires good and bad bacteria from the environment, affecting baby’s ability to fight infections, allergies, and colic.
Restore Mom’s Health – Help Your Baby Grow & Develop
Help your baby develop and your body replenish essential nutrients after pregnancy and during breastfeeding. Prenate® Restore is a dietary supplement formulated to carry mom and baby through pregnancy and breastfeeding. It’s the first and only postnatal vitamin with probiotics, DHA and 13 other vitamins and minerals.2,3 No other prescription vitamin indicated for use during breastfeeding has more DHA than Prenate® Restore, and the benefits of DHA are related to its dose.4 Prenate® Restore is the only prescription prenatal vitamin with DHA and EPA indicated for use throughout pregnancy and into breastfeeding that contains probiotics – invisible “good bacteria” that have health benefits.4 Ask your doctor if Prenate® Restore is right for you. Click here to learn more about Prenate® Restore.