Feeding Your Baby
Breastfeeding is the optimal way to feed your baby. Just as a mother is capable of nourishing her baby for months in the womb, she is also capable of completely nourishing her baby at the breast. Breast milk is the ideal food for your baby.
Techniques for the Breastfeeding Mother
The way your baby “latches on,” or attaches to your breast, is one of the most important things to master for successful breastfeeding. Making sure your baby correctly latches on will help prevent or minimize sore nipples. Gently lift and support your breast, with your fingers below the breast and your thumb above, well away from the areola (the dark area around your nipple). Gently stroke your baby’s bottom lip with your nipple in a downward motion several times. Pause to see if he will open his mouth. Repeat this until your baby opens his mouth very wide. Then quickly pull him onto the breast so that his nose, cheeks, and chin are all touching the breast. Most of your areola should be in the baby’s mouth. If your nipples become sore as the feeding continues, remove your baby from your breast, after breaking the suction, and try reattaching him.
Signs Your Baby Is Getting Enough Breast Milk
A healthy, full-term newborn who is breastfeeding well at least eight times a day should need no feedings other than mother’s milk. Your baby is most likely getting enough milk if: