Breastfeeding Help: How to Get Started

Posted on 09. Dec, 2011 by in Birth, Breastfeeding, Doctor's Visits, newborn, Pregnancy Education

It’s no secret that breastfeeding is arguably the best way to feed your baby, but it can sometimes be challenging.

Here are five simple steps to help you breastfeed your newborn.

1. When should you start? Ideally, you’ll want to initiate breastfeeding immediately after delivery. If your baby is premature, your best bet will be to pump and bag your breast milk as you may not be able to hold and feed your baby right away. Talk with your doctor and follow their advice for preemies.

You’ll want to hold your baby towards your chest, then touch their upper lip with your nipple. When your infant responds by opening their mouth, insert your nipple into their mouth by gently pulling your baby into your nipple area. It may help the both of you if you support your breast with your hand. Your baby’s mouth should cover a better part of your areola.

This may take a few tries, but practice makes perfect, so try not to get discouraged.

2. Get comfortable: Feedings can take up to an hour or so, give or take a few minutes. So to ensure that both you and your baby are both receiving the maximum benefits of breastfeeding, position yourself in a comfortable spot.

Use props to help you, such as a nursing pillow, a rocking chair, even the arm of your couch and a footstool.

3. How often should you nurse? Frequently, and here’s why. The more you nurse, the more milk you’ll produce. Your target should be eight to twelve times during a twenty-four hour period.

Use your maternal instincts here and get to know your baby. Be proactive and offer your breast before she begins to cry or becomes fussy. Attempting to put your baby on a schedule of feedings isn’t always the answer for the both of you so let your instincts and her tummy guide you.

4. Problems you may encounter: No one said breastfeeding is easy for every mom and you may hit some unpleasant moments along the way.

Symptoms like breast engorgement and sore nipples are common and easily remedied.

Call your doctor or lactation consultant immediately should you feel that things are not going well, if you feel your baby isn’t receiving enough milk, or if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above. They’re there to help and guide you, and you should absolutely use them for that reason.

5. Breastfeeding resources: Always look to your doctor and/or lactation consultant for professional advice first.

In conjunction with speaking to your doctor, you also should always be doing your own research both online and offline.

Some fantastic websites to help you out are:

Le Leche League

Babycenter from The Bump

The Breastfeeding Blog

The Baby Bond

Some breastfeeding books that you may find helpful:

The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers

The Complete Book of Breastfeeding

New Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding

It’s best to incorporate your own research with that of your medical professional’s. Write down your concerns and talk them over with your doctor, they’ll be able to give you ample resources to guide you.

●     Know that you are not alone if your breastfeeding agenda isn’t going exactly as planned.

●     Find breastfeeding support groups and absorb all their advice and guidance.

●     Ask the hospital where you delivered for any resources before you’re released.

●     Don’t give up – there’s an array of professionals just waiting to help you breastfeed your baby, all you have to do is ask.


About the author: Danielle is a freelance blogger and editor specializing in parenting, family, pregnancy, social media, and entrepreneurial topics. To learn more about Danielle, please visit her website at

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