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03 Feb '18

Proper breastfeeding technique

Posted by Sandra Sosa

As any other activity in life, breastfeeding needs a good technique to achieve good results, otherwise you will get frustrated, sad, and even injured to finally abandon your tryings to raise your baby with the most natural way.

On this regard, a proper breastfeeding technique is critical and it's supported by three main keystones

1- Mom's position
2- Baby's position
3- Baby's mouth placement over mommy's breast

Once you have mastered all the above, breastfeeding will be as easy as breathing; something natural and automatic, easy for you and your baby.

Mom's Position

That's a critical issue; if you are not comfortable, breastfeeding will turn on a torture, so try to find a quiet place, if possible with enough privacy to enjoy the moment with your little pumpkin and with a comfortable place to sit. Some Proper breastfeeding techniquewomen prefer to breastfeed on the bed while some others love to do it on the couch and even using a rocking chair if available.

Once you have choosen the area and place, be sure to count with enough support for your back and your arms, usually a soft pillow below your elbow will help to provide support to your body and arm wich will be holding all the baby's weight while breastfeeding.

Baby's Position

Have you ever try to drink lying on your back? Probably not, and that's because you know it's risky and not comfortable; so same thing applies to your baby. Even when a small baby is not able to sit straight, you must avoid to feed him lying on the back; instead a semi-seated position, hold by your arms is the best way to allow your little one to breastfeed easy and comfortable.

Baby's back must be supported by your arm while seated on your leg; with this position your baby will be on the proper position to reach your breast easily and while he/she grows up; this position will be assumed naturally.

Baby's mouth placement over mommy's breast

This is a critical issue since a bad placement will cause wounds on your nipples leading to pain and eventually infections that could jeopardize breastfeeding; so be sure your baby puts the mouth were it's supposed to do it.

The landmark is your areola. Ideally your baby's mouth should overlap the areola in order to suck properly. Otherwise if only the nipple or a small area of the areola is used to breastfeed, you will develop nipples lacerations shortly; on the other hand if your baby suck on the skin beyond the areola, you will develop irritation.

As you may see, position is the key but not the only critical step.

Remember to alternate your breasts. If your last feeding session ended with the right breast, that must the one to begin the next session since it will have more milk; i.e. you breastfeed your baby at 6:00 am beginning with your right breast and ending with the left; later between 9 and 10 am your baby is going to eat again, by that time you must begin breastfeeding with your left breast and finish with the right.

The reason behind it, is that the first breast usually remains empty after breastfeeding but the second not, thus at the time of the next feeding session it will have more milk.

Finally, remember to clean your areola and nipples before and after breastfeeding with a wet wipe in order to remove milk remains as well baby's saliva; additionally it's a good idea to lubricate your nipples and areola periodically to avoid lacerations.

Now you are ready to go; so enjoy feeding your baby, and remember that in case on any doubt you always must contact your pediatrician or nurse to get professional advice.

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