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Breastfeeding your baby can be amazing. You alone are nourishing your baby, providing everything they need to grow and mature, which is pretty incedible!
Prolactin, the milk making hormone, rushes through your body, bringing you warm and loving feelings. Prolactin is the LOVE hormone and aids in creating a strong bond between mama & baby as you sit and nurse for 10-12 time a day. Breastfeeding is normal, natural, organic and the BEST thing you can do for your newborn...
HOWEVER, for some women, breastfeeding their baby can be the hardest part in welcoming them into the world; harder than birth. Challenges arise that seem impossible to surmount when you are sleep deprived, recovering from birth and have a newborn needing constant care. With each new day there is more pressure to supplement if baby is jaundise, losing weight, or a sleepy baby, just to name a few challenges.
In the beginning, for many women each feeding can bring anxiety, guilt and doubt...
There is so much focus on preparing for baby; getting a crib, accumulaing clothes, gathering diapers, buying blankets, a changing table, a diaper genie, etc. We fill an entire room and other parts of our house with baby stuff!
But when if comes to the basics, like how to establish breastfeeding when our baby arrives, we are less prepared and can easily start to feel alone and isolated with our inablity to instinctively know how to feed our baby.
Here are some basic steps that will aid in establishing your breastfeeding relationship:
When in doubt, REPEAT!!
Skin to Skin: Your bare chest is your newborn's home after arrival. YES, that is right, once baby comes out of your tummy the best place for them is on your tummy! Becoming familiar with their new enviroment is their job! If baby is on your chest this process is easier and you can respond to their cues better. In addition, your body is responding to their touch and producing prolactin the milk making hormone!
Snuggle: Again, lots of skin to skin! Your bodies are responding to each other through nerve transmission.
Steps to a good snuggle:
Tummy to Mummy - Baby's tummy and mommy's tummy should be touching.
Arms Around Breast - Your baby's arms should be hugging your breast, one on each side.
Shoulders and Hips Aligned - Your baby's body should be turned completely towards your body.
Hold Baby Under Neck - Use your opposite had to hold baby, if baby is nursing on your left breast, your right hand should be under their neck.
Nose to Nip: Bring your baby's nose to your nipple. Their sense of smell is the biggest sence they have. Once baby smells your milk they will open their mouth wide and you should bring them right onto the breast at that point.
Latch: Once you have all the above pieces into place you will want to assess baby's latch. With a proper latch baby's lips should look like fish lips around your breast and their position on the breast should be asymetrical.
Breastfeeding should not be painful!
When you follow these basic steps and repeat them early and often it is possible to avoid many breastfeeding challenges. If you feel you need extra support and guidance SEEK HELP!!
The number one reason women wean or go straight to formula
is due to lack of instruction and support!
The is a lot of support for breastfeeding women so please find it and have your resources available before you need them!!!
A visit from a lactation specialist is a lot cheaper than a formula!!!
Click here for more information about my up coming Breastfeeding Basics Class
Please join these Facebook peer support groups for your area:
Only you can breastfeed your baby -
quite an amazing relationship!