Basic Tips For Your First Breastfeed from our In-House Lactation Specialist!
So you did it!
You have had your incredible HypnoBirth, but now it is time – your baby is chest to chest enjoying the magic of skin to skin as your baby regulates her temperature, heart rate, and breathing in adjustment to the outside world.
She starts to open her little eyes, blinking, lifting her little head, bobbing, her tongue moves forward, her little legs start to push into your tummy as she attempts to move up towards your breasts!
YES!! Its time for her first breast feed! Holy crap- what do I do?? My mind raced back to the breastfeeding classes I took- something about a c hold, cross cradle- I felt that there were some other olympic positions I had forgotten, in my quest for “getting it right”… time to breathe and remember the basics and there is no rush, and keep helping hands away for now to let your baby follow natural instincts and reflexes.
9 Basic Tips to Help You Navigate Your First Breast Feed
- Skin to skin = tummy to tummy- having your baby between your breasts. Let her smell her way into the correct position. This is called the biological nurturing position. Sit up elevated so you are comfortable, your hips slide out. You are comfortable and supported, and your baby is supported. How-to: Back-lying Breastfeeding Position . Your nipples will be giving off a scent to guide her to where she needs to be. Let her crawl, give her time with minimal assistance. Don’t hold her head.
- Feed your baby early- as she cues in the first hour after birth it is the optimal timing.- she will be willing and able.
- Your colostrum!- Put simply your baby’s first milk is a protein packed super food. Massage your breast to start the flow for your baby. Massage from the outer edges of your nipple to move the colostrum into your nipple. You can give your breasts a compress to get the flow started.
- Give your baby time to latch on- it will take a few stop starts for your baby to get her position right. BUT in this biological nurturing position it turns on all her innate instincts to feed.
- If your baby does not latch, bring her upright onto your chest once more, she will calm down and watch for those feedings signals again.
- Once she is latched, support her by holding her between her shoulder blades. This will ensure her latch is deep, chin tucked into your breast, tummy to mummy!
- Use this latch technique for every breastfeed for the first day or so- you don’t have to hurry into other positions if this works for you both.
- Look for signs of suck, swallow, breath- your baby feeding and transferring well has a little pattern to it! suck, suck, suck swallow, suck suck swallow!
- Baby settles and falls asleep! Well done to both of you!!
Amanda Bude- HypnoBirthing Educator/ Lactation Consultant/ Midwife – Amanda is available for consults for all of our new parents.