fbpx

How to Breastfeed a Baby? (Full Guide!)👶

Kiran Verma

Written by Kiran Verma

How to Breastfeed a Baby? | Breastfeeding Tips for Producing More Milk | For Pain | First Time Mothers | Breastfeeding Latch & Sore Nipple Tips

Breastfeeding is the best natural way to feed your newborn. I’m sure you know the importance of breastfeeding for your newborn as it helps in the development of the baby.

Superbottoms Langot

Although breastfeeding comes with pain, soreness of nipples, sometimes bleeding too. Along with this, you also face issues like cracked nipples, dryness, irritation, etc.

Here, I have come up with a guide to breastfeed the newborn, which will allow you to feed the baby with ease and comfort.

All you gotta do is to read!

Before going through how to feed a newborn baby by breast, let me enlighten you with some of the things that you have to keep in mind before feeding the baby.

  • Ensure that you should be in a relaxed and supportive position, i.e., your back should be supported.
  • Support your baby’s shoulder and neck with your hands and arms. It is better to use these breastfeeding pillows.
  • Always keep your baby’s head at the level of the breast to ensure perfect latching.
  • It is important to keep your baby’s head, shoulder, and hip in alignment position.
  • Maintain touch with your baby. However, do not maintain the touch if you are feeding the baby in a football position.

Let’s finally move to, how to breastfeed the baby.

How to Breastfeed a Baby (Step-by-Step)?

How to Breastfeed a Baby By Breast - Step by Step

Breastfeeding the baby does not only have various methods but it also has advantages like a mother’s milk helps in the development of the baby, keeps the baby healthy, etc.

While the major question comes, types of breastfeeding techniques that you will use to feed your baby. Choose the breastfeeding technique which is comfortable for you and newborn depending on the varied factor-like type of delivery you have gone through. 

Here, let’s start with types of breastfeeding techniques to feed the baby.

1. Football Hold Breastfeeding Position

This is adequately perfect for those newborns who do not require much support. Also for those who do not have latching problems.

Although, you might need some pillow and blankets. You need to hold the baby by your side in an alignment position.

Then support your baby’s back, and head with your shoulder. Then use another hand to sandwich your breast.

To support your hand you can use breastfeeding pillows. These pillows support your baby’s head and keep it close to your breast. Furthermore, it also provides you with relief from neck pain, shoulder pain, and back pain.

You can also check out this amazing video on how to feed a newborn baby by breast. It explains everything from different ways of feeding baby to latching.

2. Side-lying Position

Feeding the baby at night is tough, not only because it includes waking up. But also because you are exhausted after labor. 

So, here, I have come up with a side-lying newborn breastfeeding position that allows you to breastfeed the baby at night, either you are sleeping on the sofa, and bed, as well as, if you have a C-section or stitches. This is one of the best types of breastfeeding practices.  

Here are the steps you have to follow,

  • Lie on your side and place a pillow under your head
  • To avoid back pain, keep your back and hips straight, then bend your knees
  • Place your baby alongside on his side 
  • To be your baby’s belly and your belly would be facing each other
  • Support your baby head with your arm and body or use the pillow to support the baby
  • If your left hand is cradling the tot, pull the baby towards you with the help of the same 
  • If needed use your free hand to support the breast 
  • However, if your one hand is under your head, use your free hand to support the baby
  • Keep your baby’s face at the level of your breast 
  • Ensure a proper latch and feed the baby 

Also Read: How to Take Care of a Newborn Baby (Step-by-Step)?😍

3. Laid-back Breastfeeding after C-Section

After C-section, it must be tough for you to sit and breastfeed the baby. However, keeping the importance of breastfeeding in mind, breastmilk is ideal for babies. This laid-back breastfeeding position might be helpful as it won’t pressurize your wounds. 

Without taking most of your time, here what you can do

  • Lie on the semi-reclined position
  • For support keep pillows behind you
  • To place baby on your chest, ask someone for help or if you can, do it yourself 
  • The baby should be facing you and his nose should be at the level of the nipple
  • Ensure to keep baby’s feet away from the C-section stitches or wounds
  • As your baby’s chin press against your breast, ensure proper latch and there, you baby is feeding 

4. Cradle Hold Breastfeeding Position 

It is a classic breastfeeding technique. And I’m sure, as soon as you heard breastfeeding, you are sitting and holding the baby to breastfeed him pop up in your mind, isn’t it? 

Though, most of you must be aware of the same but still, let’s have a look at how you gotta do it,

  • Sit in an upright position by keeping your baby in your hands 
  • For better support, the neck and head of the baby should lay along your forearm 
  • Keep your baby against your stomach, that is in the tummy-to-tummy position 
  • To proper support use a breastfeeding pillow or ordinary pillow as this position does not really provide much support to the baby

5. Cross-cradle Hold Breastfeeding Position

As the name of this one position and the earlier one are somewhat similar, likewise both positions are. The only difference is that this position provides support to your baby’s neck and shoulder which enable the baby to tilt his head before the latch. 

This is the perfect position for babies who face latching issues. Here what you have to do

  • Sit straight and bring your baby in front of your body ensuring tummy-to-tummy time 
  • With the help of the crook of the arm opposite to your breast, hold the baby
  • To support the head of the baby, use your open hand 
  • Use your other hand to support your breast underside U-shaped area

For comfort, and effective feeding ideal latching is essential. You have to point your nipple towards the baby’s nose and ensure that the baby’s chin is coming to the breast first.

Moreover, while changing the position or adjusting the baby, always move the baby, not your breast.

6. Laid-back or Recline Breastfeed Position 

It is also termed as biological nurturing and if you are the first time mummy, you gotta try this. 

Surprisingly, if you place your baby on your chest or tummy, he will instinctively find your breast and try to latch-up. This is known as “breast crawl.”

Additionally, it is not only perfect for newborns but you can use it to feed a baby of any age, especially if your baby has latching issues.  

It is easy to perform,

  • On your bed, sofa, or chair, lie in a recline position
  • You can also use a pillow to support your neck, back, and arms 
  • Place your baby on your tummy with maintaining the tummy-to-tummy contact and ensure that your baby’s head should be at the level of your breast 
  • Then breast crawl will help the baby to find the breast and they will start feeding 
  • Support and hold the baby’s head or body 

7. Dangle Breastfeeding Position

This is a breastfeeding technique that enables your baby to lie on the back. You can feed the baby while sitting, kneeling up over the baby on the sofa or bed, etc. All you have to is to,

  • Let your baby lie on his back
  • On all fours, crouch over him 
  • Then, to offer the nipple to the baby, dangle the nipple in his mouth 

8. Dancer Hand Breastfeeding Position

Does your baby born prematurely?

Are you looking for a breastfeeding position that allows you to feed your premature baby who might also have low muscle tone or has latching issues?

Having a premature baby comes with a lot of issues. Though, right now, my focus is on how to breastfeed a baby, so here is, how you can feed your newborn, 

  • From underneath, start by cupping your breast that is with fingers on one side and thumb on another. The edge of the hand and index finger should make a U-shape  
  • Then rest the baby’s jaw on your thumb and index finger 
  • Ensure that the baby’s chin should be placed under the bottom of the U

This is one of the best breastfeeding positions for babies with illnesses or disabilities, too.

 9. Feeding the Baby in a Sling

Are you an explorer? 

Do you love to travel? 

That’s fun, as your baby can accompany you while traveling. With that, you do not have to worry about, how you are going to take care of the baby or more. 

As you can feed your baby in a sling. Though, it is only perfect for babies, children, or infants, who know how to hold their heads. Also, you are not going to learn it in a day, hence, you need training or practice to do the same. 

To be noted, while feeding the baby in a sling make sure that the chin and face of your baby should not be pressed against your chest, as it could result in suffocation.

10. Upright or Koala Breastfeeding Position

Here, how you can feed the baby by using this position, 

  • Enable your baby to sit, straddling your thigh or on your hip keeping the baby’s spine and head upright 
  • If you are using this position to feed the newborn, you have to provide proper support to your newborn’s head and body
  • It can also be used to feed old babies who can not sit independently 

This is one of the breastfeeding techniques for newborns with issues like reflux, ear infection, or for babies who have tongue-tie or low muscle tone.

11. Football Holds For Twins

Taking care of twins is tough and exhausted, as you have to do everything twice. 

To be honest, feeding the twins would be much tougher. No worries, as I have come up with the best breastfeeding practices for twins. Here, what you have to do

  • Keep your babies in each arm with a bent elbow 
  • The back of your babies should rest on the forearms 
  • To ensure comfort, you can use pillows and chair with boards, or low arms 

Also Read: Best Sleeping Position for Baby After Feeding: Back, Stomach or Side?

12. Inverted Side-Lying Position

To follow this, you have to do,

  • Let your baby lie down on his side  with tummy, knees, and chest facing your body
  • Tuck your baby’s lower arm under your breast and your baby’s top arm should be on top of your breast
  • Your nipple should be at the mouth level of the baby and your baby should face your breast 
  • As the baby’s body is horizontal to yours that means the feet of the baby should point to the top of your bed
  • In case, your baby’s mouth is not at the level of the nipple, you can use or place a folded towel or blanket under the baby’s head
  • Also, to prevent the rolling back of the baby, place a folded towel behind the baby
  • Support your right breast with the left hand in C-hold by shaping the areola and breast into a sandwich
  • Perform the same by using other breast and hand

Inverted breastfeeding position is perfect after C-section. 

13. Prone Position

Do you think, you have a high milk flow? 

In that case, you can take the help of gravity to slow it down. This position is helpful to do the same, here, 

  • Lie flat on your back
  • Bent your knees and use a pillow to support your head 
  • Allow your baby to lie on your breast, then spread the baby’s arms around your breast 
  • As an alternate, you can also place your baby on your side on a pillow
  • The baby’s face should look down your breast and again, spread the baby’s arms on your breast 

Breastfeeding Tips for Producing More Milk

Here, I’m mentioning, some tips for producing more milk while feeding the baby,

  • Feed the baby when needed
  • While feeding, offer both breasts to the baby
  • To increase the milk supply, you can drink Premama Lactation Support Mix
  • Massage or compress your breast while nursing or pumping
  • Eat and drink enough food
  • Use a power pump
  • Eat lactation cookies
  • Stimulate your breast
  • Take proper rest
  • Consult the issues with your doctor

What are the Breastfeeding Tips for First Time Mothers?

What are the Breastfeeding Tips for First Time Mothers?

Before breastfeeding a newborn or following any newborn breastfeeding positions, I would like to enlighten you with some of the tips. That you should keep in mind while feeding the baby,

  • To breastfeed the baby, perfectly understand, how to breastfeed a baby, you can attend breastfeeding classes which would be available at a community center or hospital near you, or watch authentic video online from a trusted source only
  • Ensure to make skin-to-skin contact with the baby to allow the baby to feel warm, comfortable, and safe
  • Ensure to have a proper latching while feeding your baby, which I will discuss later in this article 
  • Leakage of the breast is natural, hence, do not freak out. You can use breast pads.
  • Take care of your skin by patting the skin after feeding the baby, wear comfortable clothes, moisturize your nipples, etc 
  • To avoid engorgement, that is swollen and blood vessels of breast and overfilled milk ducts, etc, you should feed the baby whenever she asked for it
  • Allow your baby to determine the duration of nursing 
  • Enable the baby to choose the right position of feeding
  • Choose a comfortable position while feeding the baby
  • Make sure that you are comfortable while nursing 
  • Make sure that the baby should be positioned at the level of the nipple
  • The chin of the baby should be right up to the breast, this prevents pressing of the nose against the breast 
  • While breastfeeding, your baby’s head should slightly be tilted backward
  • Ensure that your baby won’t have to turn his head much
  • Prevent using one breastfeeding position, frequently change the baby’s breastfeeding position
  • One of the best ways to increase the supply of milk is by feeding the baby often, by drinking an adequate amount of water and take nutritious food, etc
  • If due to any problem you can not feed the baby with breast, use a breast pump to do the job
  • Avert alcohol, smoking, and other food which could harm the baby
  • Follow a nutritious diet which contains multiple vitamins, proteins, etc 

When Should Breastfeeding Stop?

You should stop breastfeeding only when your baby is full. For that, you have to check out some of the cues such as, 

  • Close mouth
  • Turns head when you offer breast or bottle 
  • Easy to distract 
  • Relaxed hands 

Also Check: Why Babies Cry at Night Suddenly?😢

What are Breastfeeding Problems?

If you are wondering, what problem one can face while breastfeeding?

Then here, you will get your answer. 

  • Not enough supply of milk is an issue that you might face. However, it is temporary, yet, if you are worried then you can offer both the breast to the baby. This will stimulate the milk supply.
  • Improper latch, definitely, learning how to breastfeed the baby will take some time. Hence, if you find your baby unsatisfied, or if your breastfeeding is painful, etc are cues of the improper latch. Talk to your doctor concerning how to ensure proper latch.
  • Pain, sore or cracked nipples are the sign that the position of breastfeeding or latch is not perfect. It could get worse, hence, visit your doctor or midwife or an expert for advice. 
  • Breast engorgement is the situation when your breast filled with too much milk. That result in pain, hard and tight breast. Some of the reasons for engorgement are not feeding baby often, or when the baby is older, etc
  • Making too much milk is also a problem. If that’s the case with you, always ask for expert advice. 
  • Blocked milk duct, if your breast engorgement does not cure, it can get worse and lead to blockage of the milk duct. In that case, you can feed the baby often, etc.
  • Continuing the process, if you got a blocked milk duct that is not cured, it can result in breast inflammation that is termed as mastitis. If still not treated, you might feel hot and pain in the breast later can result in illness such as flu-like symptoms. I would advise you to reach out to the doctor. 
  • Further, if your mastitis is not treated, it can result in a breast abscess, that needs an operation to cure. 
  • If your baby has a tongue-tie, that is having a short strip of the skin that attaches our tongue to the mouth floor. Though it is not as serious as it seems for every baby, on the contrary, some babies get highly affected by the same. As it restricts the free movement of the tongue. On the positive side, it is curable. 

What are the Advantages of Breastfeeding?

Benefits of Breastfeeding to the baby are as follows:

  • Breastfeeding holds importance because it strengthens the immune system of the baby
  • Another importance of breastfeeding the baby is that it lessens the possibility of the Sudden Infant Health Syndrome
  • Less possibility of colds and other respiratory issues such as whooping cough, pneumonia, etc
  • Your baby hardly suffer from ear infections, diarrhea, gastroenteritis, bacterial meningitis, etc 
  • The low infant mortality rate 
  • Little chances of overall illness and hospitalization 
  • Better vision and less retinopathy of prematurity 
  • Enhance the over the development of the baby as it lessens the possibility of allergies, eczema, asthma, childhood cancers, cavities, Crohn’s disease, etc
  • Not many speech and orthodontic issues as well as few chances respiratory issues
  • Build up brain maturation 

Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mother:

  • Restore uterus contraction and return the ordinary size 
  • Lessen the postpartum bleeding
  • Promote instant weight loss after birth as it burns somewhat 500 additional calories a day for maintaining milk supply 
  • Few possibilities of anemia
  • Hardly any possibility of urinary tract infections 
  • Another breastfeeding benefit is that it helps in promoting a positive feeling while feeding the baby as well as lessen the stress hormones 
  • Provides calmness, confidence, support the wellness of body, and mind, etc 
  • Promote physical or emotional bonding, is one more advantage of breastfeeding
  • Breastfeeding enables you to learn various things about such as cue of fullness, cues of an empty stomach, etc
  • Helps in developing the early behavior of the baby
  • Other than these, breastfeeding is beneficial as it reduces the chances of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis with age, and more

Thus, breastfeeding holds importance for both, mother and baby. 

After being aware of the advantages of breastfeeding, I would advise you to always prefer breastfeeding the baby, unless the doctor advises you not to do the same.

Also Read: When Does Baby Skin Color Stop Changing?👶

How to Ensure Proper Latch?

How to Ensure Proper Latch?

As you know feeding a baby by breast is essential. Similarly, you should know how to ensure that your baby is latched onto your breast perfectly.

Here what you have to do to ensure proper latch,

For this, you need to use your hands to express and by touching your breast to the baby’s upper lip to give your newborn a bit of taste. Then allow your baby to open his mouth.

Wider mouth means easier latch.

Apart from this, you should also ensure that your baby’s head, neck, and spine are aligned, instead of dropped towards the chest.

Also, keep your baby close during latch, aim your nipple towards the top of the baby’s mouth, and the baby’s chin should touch your breast first. With that, to prevent suffocation, ensure to keep your baby’s nose turned up.

Furthermore, to know how deep the nipple should go into the baby’s mouth. For this, you have to move your tongue in your mouth and the soft area that you sense upon your mouth. Can you feel that? This is how far your nipple should go.

You can also seek an expert advise.

In an attempt to feed the baby quickly, do not just put your nipple in the baby’s mouth but wait till it broadened. So the bottom line is, you do not have to stretch your breast and baby’s mouth.

Moreover, a question arises, why feeding a crying baby is difficult?

As it creates an issue in latching so before feeding your newborn, you should calm your little one down.

How to calm down your baby?

Well, it is effortless to calm your baby down. For this, you have to put your finger in your baby’s mouth. While before putting your finger ensure to clean your finger first. Then bring the baby up to your chest and stroke it back slowly.

Do you know the proper technique to unlatch the baby from your breast?

How to Unlatch the Baby from Breast?

I’m sure you have no idea about it, do not worry. I’m here to help you to the best of my abilities. To unlatch the baby, you just have to put fingers at the corner of the baby’s mouth.

Additionally, the head of the baby should be slightly inclined and an areola can be seen above from the top lip. To add, the lips of the baby should be flanged and the nose should not touch the breast.

Now, you get to know about how to feed a newborn baby by breast and how to latch or unlatch the baby. Let’s move to when to change breasts?

When to Change the Breast?

When effective swallowing does not work, that’s when you have to change the breast. One thing you should keep in mind that you have to pump after every time you feed the baby and also to ensure a consistent supply of milk.

Although, you can use manual breast pumps or an electric breast pump (more convenient) to pump your milk.

Why you should choose manual breast pumps?

One of the reasons to choose a manual breast pump is that it encourages natural pumping of milk, unlike electric breast pumps.

Further, it enables you to control the suction without any noise. To add, manual breast pumps are inexpensive, easy to use, weightless, and are easy to sterilize too.

But if you are a busy mom or an office person, then you should go for an electric breast pump as they are fast and convenient to use.

Can you Replace the Mother’s Milk?

Certainly not, the quality of mother milk is ideal for a newborn as it helps in enhancing the immunity, development of the brain, muscles, preventing babies against infections and diseases, etc.

While as a substitute you can use baby formula milk to feed your baby. But I suggest you not to rely on formula milk all the time.

What are the Reasons for Nipple Pain?

Pain that you feel after breastfeeding is quite common which is the result of numerous reasons. One of the most promising reasons is, not attaching the baby with your breast properly.

It simply means that your breast is not a deep mouthful of the newborn. As a result, it will be squeezed between the tongue and upper mouth of the newborn.

With that, your nipple might appear white due to clutching of the blood, that too comes with a lot of pain.

Let’s move to another reason, why you feel pain?

The other reason for pain is, dryness, soreness, and crushed nipples is the shallow latch. Most of you are not aware of this term, right?

Why not start with a precise preface. Shallow latch simply means when a newborn’s tongue is unable to reach the milk duct, that results in less supply of milk and pain.

Further, due to an improper latch, you will not be able to breastfeed your newborn because of the pain.

How can you resist shallow latching?

It is easy to eradicate the pain. As you just have to ensure that your newborn’s tongue is reaching the milk duct. That allows your newborn to suck milk easily, which again eliminates the pinching.

Therefore, no pain this is with the help of deep latching.

Some other reasons for the pain are nipple vasospasm, contraction from birth, allergies, tongue function, nipple confusion, etc.

To add, infection in your nipples, blocked nipple pore, eczema, dermatitis, the improper fit of bras, and more are some other reasons.

You can also try these best nursing/maternity bras.

Breastfeeding Tips for Pain

Some of the tips to relief breastfeeding pain are,

  • Ensure proper latch
  • Seek doctor advise
  • Allow your nipple to breathe for a while after nursing the baby
  • Apply breastfeeding cream or ointment
  • Use breast compression to feed the baby instantly
  • If you have sore nipples due to engorged, apply cold compression. However, don’t apply the cold compression before feeding
  • Set a newborn breastfeeding schedule and feed your baby often
  • Apply moist heat to your breast
  • Enjoy hot bathe, this will also improve your milk flow

Conclusion

As the goodness, breast milk cannot be ignored by anyone. Even doctors suggest feeding the baby with breast milk at least for 6 months. If you are becoming a mother for the first time, you should first know how to feed a newborn baby by breast.

As not using the proper method can lead to soreness, dryness, bleeding, itching, and more of the nipples.

After a while, you can use baby bottle feeders. To feed your infant as it allows your infant to suck and chew food effortlessly. Further, it is essential to clean and sterilizer your baby’s utensils, for this you can use bottle sterilizers. That kills all the bacteria and germs instantly, unlike the traditional method.

Being a mother means stretch marks and running behind your newborn to ensure if he’s getting everything he wants or not, right? This might be hectic sometimes, well to eliminate the stretch marks you can use the best stretch mark creams

And to keep an eye on your little one you can check baby monitors, from now no more running.

Happy Parenthood!

Kiran Verma
Kiran Verma

Kiran Verma, founder, and author of BabyCart completed her post-graduation from CSJM University, Kanpur. However, the busy housewife that she is, yet, her being a mother changed her life when she had to face so many issues post-pregnancy, during pregnancy, and taking care of the baby. That encouraged her to commence the BabyCart blog with the motive to make pregnancy and parenthood uncomplicated, especially for new parents. Read more

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I'll earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Read our product selection process.

Leave a Comment