The theory is breastfeeding is natural and just happens with no problems. Great theory, but it never seems to work out quite that way.
Expectant and new mothers if you are feeling a little intimidated do not worry. Breastfeeding is natural and learning just a few breastfeeding techniques will make your life much easier.
The first item to learn is about the proper positioning of your baby. There are four commonly used holds for making your breastfeeding easier. Three are for sitting, the fourth for laying down.
The first of the breastfeeding techniques is the cradle hold. You cradle your baby’s head in the fold of your arm. Their body is across your body almost like a cross, but with their feet down slightly. Their stomach is up against your body. Their face will by horizontal to your breast. This position is very comfortable and works great for most mothers.
The second position is the cross cradle hold. You turn your baby around in your arm. Their head is held in your hand, and their body crosses over your body to reach the breast. This is another very comfortable position. Often mothers lay a pillow on their lap to help support the baby.
Your third position is the football cradle hold. You are holding the baby very similar to the cross cradle hold, but you do not cross over your body. This time the feet come around to your side, and the baby feeds on the breast on the side of the holding arm. Using a pillow for support on any of these sitting positions adds to the comfort.
The last position commonly used is lying down. This is by far the simplest. You lay on your side with your baby in front of you with their mouth brought to your breast.
The next breastfeeding technique concerns getting the baby to latch on tightly. One of the most effective methods is to gently rub your nipple across their mouth or to the side on their cheek. When they open their mouth to the widest is when you insert the nipple. You may need to lightly squeeze your breast to make the nipple extend out further for the initial latching on process. Once the baby latches on successfully they know exactly what to do.
When your baby needs to be moved, or released from the breast, make sure to use your finger to break the suction gently by pushing in on the breast beside their mouth. Their suction is powerful and needs to be released instead of pulled off. Pulling can easily damage your nipple.
The last of our breastfeeding techniques for today concerns burping your baby. If your baby is latched on properly they will be getting very little air and you should be able to wait to burp the baby at the same time you switch breasts, and after you finish feeding. Do not be shocked if your baby does not burp either time. Breastfeeding does not allow for much intake of air.
The best news about all of these breastfeeding techniques, they will feel very natural and both of you will take to them almost instantly. Relax and enjoy this great bonding time with your baby.