New born babies have a natural reflex and instinct to breastfeed. Their sucking reflex is most powerful at birth, which is the best time to begin. Many new mothers, especially when they have no experience of breastfeeding, may find it a little complicated at the beginning. Due to this reason, many hospitals offer breastfeeding information and may even have a lactation consultant on their staff.
Once your baby is born, it would be a good idea to seek out the lactation consultant and seek her help in regards to all of your breastfeeding questions. She will provide you with some ideas of breastfeeding positions, how long to breastfeed, information on breast engorgement and help you get your baby latched on properly.
It isn’t that difficult to begin breastfeeding as newborns possess a strong sucking reflex at birth. Simply hold your baby in the crook of your arm. Propping yourself or the baby with pillows, bring your baby close to your breast. Gently touch the side of the baby’s mouth with your nipple, and you will see how your baby will automatically open the mouth to take in the nipple. You should gently hold your nipple between your thumb and forefinger. Do not just offer your baby the tip of your nipple, but also some of the areola (the slightly darker area to which the nipple is attached). Due to the fact that your baby has a very small mouth, offer your nipple and areola very carefully. The baby’s chin have to be touching the breast but the nose should be either clear of the breast or just slightly touching it. You will get to know that the baby is not properly attached when you find this painful. If the baby is appropriately latched on, there should not be any pain at all.
At the initial stage, the baby will take the breast for a few minutes at a time. There will be a quick sucking action as your baby takes the thinner foremilk. As the thicker, more nourishing hindmilk comes in, the baby will begin to suck more rhythmically, with the bottom jaw moving up and down with a deep action.