Breast Feeding Techniques - 1

Breast Feeding Techniques - 1.

How do I begin breastfeeding?

On the following paragraphs I will try to give you as many techniques as possible. Before starting I want to remind you that the size of a woman’s breasts have nothing to do with her ability to produce milk. Breast milk is produced by stimulation of the nipples from infant suckling, regardless of breast size.

Use the following technique when you start.

With your free hand, put your thumb on top of your breast and your other fingers below. Don't touch your areola (the dark skin around your nipple). This is where your baby's lips will be.

Touch your baby's lips with your nipple until your baby opens its mouth very wide. Put your nipple all the way in your baby's mouth and pull your baby's body close to you. This lets your baby's jaw squeeze the milk ducts under your areola.



Most babies are eager to suckle as soon as they feel the nipple against their cheek. If the baby is not reacting or is too sleepy, the suckle reflex can be stimulated by gently stroking the baby's cheek and lips with the fingertips. The baby will then turn its head and search for the nipple with an open mouth. Do not stroke both cheeks as it will confuse the baby! The same sort of stimulation can be used if you find that the baby is either drinking slowly or is falling asleep at the breast.

Let`s go to another breast feeding technique. Your baby's nose may be touching your breast during nursing. Babies' noses are designed to allow air to get in and out in just such a case. But if you're concerned that your baby can't breathe easily, you can gently press down on your breast near your baby's nose to give him or her more room to breathe.


When your baby is "latched on" the right way, both lips should pout out (not be pulled in over his or her gums) and cover nearly all of the areola. Instead of smacking noises, your baby will make low-pitched swallowing noises. Your baby's jaw may move back and forth. If you feel pain while your baby is nursing, he or she is probably not latched on correctly.This breast feeding technique is important.

There are mums who for the first two weeks are terribly tense trying to hold her tears due to the pain breast feeding gives her. The main reason this occurs is because nobody has taught you the breast feeding techniques. Take this into your baby has to latch on your breast. If the babies mouth covers all your areola ( the darker area surrounding the nipple) and your nipple, and you comfortably put your baby on its side for one of the correct breast feeding positions (with its tummy touching your tummy) you will experience a really wonderful nursing. Do not allow your baby to latch on only to your nipples. That brings pain on.

Breast Feeding Techniques - 2.

How should I hold my baby while breastfeeding?

You can hold your baby in a number of ways. Your baby shouldn't have to turn his or her head or strain his or her neck to nurse.

In the cradle position, you put your baby's head in the crook of your arm. Support your baby's back and bottom with your arm and hand. Your baby will be lying sideways facing you. Your breast should be right in front of your baby's face.

Hold the baby in your right arm, pushing in the baby’s bottom with the side of your forearm so that your hand turns palm upwards. This will help you support his body more easily, and also bring the baby in from the correct direction so that he gets a good latch. Your hand will be palm up under the baby’s face (not shoulder or under his neck). The web between your thumb and index finger should be behind the nape of his neck (not behind his head). The baby will be almost horizontal across your body, with his head slight tilted backward, and should be turned so that his chest, belly and thighs are against you with a slight tilt so the baby can look at you. Hold the breast with your left hand, with the thumb on top and the other fingers underneath, fairly far back from the nipple and areola. The baby should be approaching the breast with the head just slightly tilted backwards. The nipple then automatically points to the roof of the baby's mouth.



The football position consists of tucking your baby under your arm like a football with his or her head resting on your hand. Support your baby's body with your forearm. This may be a good position if you're recovering from a cesarean section or if your baby is very small.



You can also lie on your side with your baby facing you. You can use pillows to prop up your head and shoulders. This is also a good position if you're recovering from a cesarean section or an episiotomy.



Breast Feeding Techniques - 3.

  • Avoid extras like sugar water/glucose/jaggery/ or honey before the first breastfeeding. Some babies get confused when a bottle is given to them early on. Sugar water offers little that is helpful and may make the baby not want to nurse. Bottle milk given in the first few days can reduce both the baby's hunger and the mother's milk.

Breast Feeding Techniques - 4.

  • Mum`s milk contains enough water. Hence even in summer, an infant does not require water.

Breast Feeding Techniques - 5.

  • Supply and demand--the more the baby nurses, the more milk the mum will make.

Breast Feeding techniques - 6.

  • Delay use of plastic nipples. So the baby does not get confused, wait a week or two after the baby is born before giving him/her a pacifier. Plastic nipples require a different sucking action than real ones.

Breast Feeding Techniques - 7.

  • Give only breast milk till the baby is 6 months old.

Breast Feeding Techniques - 8.

What is the let-down reflex?

A few seconds to several minutes after you start breastfeeding, you may feel a tingle in your breast, and milk may start to drip from the breast not being used. These are signs that your milk has "let-down." This means your milk is ready to flow.

This let-down reflex makes breast feeding easier for your baby. Let-down may also occur if a feeding is overdue, if you hear your baby cry or even if you think about your baby.

Let-down can be forceful enough to cause your baby to cough. If this is a problem, you can express some of your milk by hand before a feeding to bring on the let-down reflex before you start breastfeeding.

Breast Feeding Technique - 9.

How often should I feed my baby?

Feed your baby as often as he or she wants to be fed. This may be 8 to 12 times a day or more. Don`t panic!!! How often your baby wants to feed may change over time as he or she goes through growth spurts. Growth spurts occur at about 2 and 6 weeks of age and again at about 3 and 6 months of age.

Let your baby nurse until he or she is satisfied. This may be for about 15 to 20 minutes at each breast. Try to have your baby nurse from both breasts at each feeding. The box below lists the signs to watch for so you'll know your baby is getting enough milk. If you're nursing fewer than 8 times a day, be especially aware of these signs.

Breast Feeding Techniques - 10.

Signs that your baby is getting enough milk


  •   The baby wets six to eight nappies a day.


  • Has about 2 to 5 or more stools a day at first and then may have 2 or less a day. Stools will be runny at first.

  • The baby drinks as often as every two to three hours (around 8-12 times a day).

  • Gains weight constantly after the first 3 to 7 days after birth. Your baby may lose a little weight during the first week after being born.

If the baby is gaining weight properly and wets the right number of nappies every day there is no need to worry, even if he or she wants to be fed often. All babies are different and some have a greater need for feeding and contact.

Many new mums are worried in case they don't have enough milk. The amount of milk is not dependent on the size of your breasts, as both small and large breasts contain almost the same amount of mammary glands. Only the fatty tissue varies.
On the other hand, it is important to believe in yourself and to want to feed. Your body has the capability to feed, so if it is not a success it is caused by outside factors.

Good Health While Breast Feeding.

  • To breast-feed her baby, a mum needs to eat 500 extra calories each day while she is nursing.

  • Women who are nursing should choose three to four servings of foods from the milk, yogurt, and cheese group daily. Use the Food Guide Pyramid as a guide in selecting healthy food choices.

  • Use caution if smoking, drinking, or taking pills. These things may pass into your milk. 


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