Breastfeeding tips

Breast milk is considered the best nutrition for babies during their first six months. If you've decided to breastfeed your baby, you may benefit from these basic breastfeeding tips.

1. Learn how breastfeeding works before your baby is born so that you will be more comfortable during feeding sessions. Attend a local class or workshop with a midwife who can explain to you how it works, or spend time talking to experienced friends or family.

2. Be sure your baby is in the right position to make breastfeeding as comfortable as possible for you and your baby. If it's too painful, chances are that you're not doing it right. Ask a midwife or family member for help if you think you should improve your technique.

3. Sit somewhere quiet and comfortable and keep your back well supported. If you're more comfortable and relaxed the milk will flow better.

4. As soon as you start giving milk (usually 2 to 5 days after birth), encourage your baby to feed on the first breast fully before you offer the second side. This helps them to drink the rich hind-milk that helps to settle them and promotes weight gain. In some cases, however, a baby may not want to be feed from the second breast.

5. You can help your baby have a full feed if you stimulated them once they start to become sleepy. Change your baby's position, remove layers of clothing, or play with them a bit to keep them awake and focused.

6. The length of feeding is not the same for all moms and babies. It can change between 10 to 40 minutes. The duration of each feed can depend on your baby's age and technique. The duration of each feed also depends on your let-down reflex; the release of milk from the breasts in response to the baby's sucking.

7. If your baby seems happy and settled in between feeding sessions and is putting on a healthy amount of weight at a steady rate, then your milk supple is plentiful.