World Breastfeeding Week 2015: A step-by-step breastfeeding guide for new mums

Is your baby latched correctly during a feeding session? Here are steps to ensure proper latch for a smooth breastfeeding experience

World Breastfeeding Week is from 1st August to 7th August.

Breastfeeding is essential for newborns and infants. In fact WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for newborns for the first six months of life. But what most people fail to tell a new mother is about the right way to get started with the same. Lack of proper latching, engorgement and other such trivial problems could at times compel a new mother to give her baby the bottle to ensure proper nourishment. However, it would mean to give to early if you decide to make the switch at the start. Know that some hurdles at the start is inevitable but can be countered with proper help and learning the right way to help your baby latch. Here s what you need to do to get going with a smooth breastfeeding experience.

Step 1: First position yourself right. Remember a session of breastfeeding with your newborn can last from anywhere between 15 to 45 minutes. Aching back and legs can make the entire experience worse for both you and your baby. So, sit in a comfortable position with proper back support. Either use pillows to support your back or take help of the feeding pillow that is designed for the purpose. Also read about the five tips that ensure successful breastfeeding.

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Step 2: Hold your baby right. Remember your baby s head should be resting on the crook of your arm while you try to offer her a feed. So if you are trying to feed from the right breast, your baby s head should rest on the crook of your right arm and vice versa. If your baby's head rests on the crook of your right arm, then your entire right arm should be supporting the spine of your baby, while you can use the other hand to pat her, play with her fingers or stroke her hair. Know why breastfeeding is better than bottle feeding.

Step 3: Your baby s entire body, including her neck, shoulder and abdomen should be in the same line, facing you and as close to you as possible. Also, her chin should touch your breast. Read about a new mums guide on breastfeeding.

Step 4: Your baby's mouth should be wide open with her lips curled outward. Ensure that your baby has enough of your breast inside her mouth so that she is correctly breastfeeding and not just suckling on your nipple. Suckling only on the nipple will not help your baby get enough milk during a feeding session. Also know why comfort suckling is good for your baby.

Step 5: While offering her a feed, just touch the nipple to her lips. If she is hungry she will open her mouth to take in the nipple. Read a real mum's account on how her breastfeeding troubles got sorted.

Step 6: Once your baby takes in the nipple try to see if she is perfectly latched. A perfect latch would mean that more of your more of the areola is visible above the baby s upper lip and less below the lower lip. Once your baby is perfectly latched on and the nipple touches her palate, she would start suckling and swallow when her mouth is filled with breastmilk. A correct latch should ensure slow, deep sucks.

Step 7: At no point during the feeding session should you feel any pain on your nipple. A pain would indicate that your baby is wrongly latched or there are some other issues regarding breastfeeding. Also read about the symptoms and causes of blocked milk ducts, a condition that interferes in smooth breastfeeding.

Step 8: If everything is okay, your baby should feel relaxed and satisfied after a feed and not appear cranky or irritable.

Image source: Getty Images

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