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Your first few days
Breast milk is
produced because of your baby’s suckling at the breast, so put him to
the breast as soon as possible after delivery. Your midwife is there to
help you. Ask her help in finding the most comfortable position for
you, and to help get your baby correctly positioned at your breast.
the first few days your breasts will produce colostrum, a thick
yellowish liquid. This is rich in proteins and vitamins and, although
it may not seem a very large amount, it is very good for your baby. The
more frequently you put him to the breast in the first few days, the
more quickly you will begin to produce breast milk. This generally
happens in about 3 days.
Once your milk has ‘come in’, you will
probably feel a tingling in your breasts each time you are ready to
feed and your breasts may begin to leak. This is known as the ‘let
down’ reflex. You may also feel mild tummy pain, which is your womb
contracting as you feed.

Positioning yourself
up straight in a chair, hold your baby across your lap at the same
level as your breasts. You may need to put a pillow under him, or put
your feet on a low stool.
If you are in hospital in bed, ask the
midwife to help you find a comfortable position. It is important that
you feel comfortable and relaxed, as you will probably be breastfeeding
for about 30 minutes each time.

Positioning your baby
your baby’s body to face you with his head resting on your forearm, not
in the crook of your arm. You may want to support his neck and head
from behind with your other hand. Remember to bring your baby to your
breast and not your breast to the baby.

Starting the feed
his body in close to yours and brush his lips against your nipple. As
his mouth opens wide like a yawn, move his head smoothly onto your
breast so he can take a big mouthful. Make sure your baby’s chin,
bottom lip and tongue touch your breast first and that enough of your
breast is in his mouth so your nipple is towards the back of his mouth.
There should be a small gap between your breast and his nose.

don’t ‘nipple feed’, they breastfeed. It is important for both of you
that your baby is correctly positioned -to make sure your milk supply
is stimulated, to avoid getting sore nipples and to ensure your baby is
feeding properly. You should feel his tongue and jaws working against
your breast and see his ears and temples moving slightly. If he doesn’t
take enough breast into his mouth, put your little finger in the corner
of his mouth to gently ease it off your nipple and start again.

During the feed
your baby is properly positioned, relax and let the feed happen. Each
time you breastfeed, the first milk is thinner foremilk to quench the
baby’s thirst followed by the calorie rich hindmilk to satisfy his
hunger. That’s why it’s important not to hurry a feed. Your baby should
feed as long as he likes from one breast and then be offered the other.
He may not want more, in which case offer that breast first at the next
Frequency of feeds
more you feed your baby, the more your breasts will be stimulated to
produce more milk. By feeding ‘on demand’ you should produce all the
milk he needs. Most breastfed babies cry to let you know when they need
to feed. This is often every 2- 3 hours day and night in the early
weeks and each feed may take up to half an hour.
Wind or colic
breastfed babies don’t suffer from wind or colic. If you think yours
does, after feeding, cuddle him against your shoulder until he burps.
If he generally feeds from both breasts, you may want to burp him in
between too.

Weight gain
your baby has a low birth weight (under 2.5 kg/5lb 9oz), or if you had
a difficult delivery, you should ask for your midwife’s and then your
health visitor’s help in getting breastfeeding established and checking
your baby’s weight in the early weeks.


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