Saturday, August 27, 2011

Breastfeeding Technique

I  made the commitment to breastfeed for at least a year. I have made it 8 months so far and still going. I have been reading everything I can get my hands on about breastfeeding and keeping up your milk supply. I recently read an article about how the World Health Organization now recommends breastfeeding until the age of 2 or older.

Breastfeeding your child will give him or her the best start in life that they could possibly get. Breast milk has the highest amount of nutrition for a growing baby, and is the most convenient way to feed your baby as well. There is proof that older babies benefit from breast milk after the age of 12 months. They continue to receive the mother's antibodies through her milk and babies who are breastfed tend to be smarter and develop faster.

Breastfeeding Problems
breastfeeding infant

Breastfeeding for some new moms can be difficult. The first few times you try may be hit and miss because your baby is sleepy or doesn't open their mouth wide enough for a correct latch. This can become a problem because an incorrect latch leads to nipple soreness and more frequent feedings because the baby is not getting enough milk for the amount of time spent nursing. They get some milk (think of it like a kink in a garden hose) but not enough and always seem hungry, even after they just fed. I had this problem myself so I speak from first-hand experience on this, once I got my baby to latch-on correctly feeding him was easy and painless. Here is a breastfeeding video tutorial of the correct latch-on technique by Lansinoh that may help you if you're having trouble. It makes all the difference in the world to have your baby in the right position and have them latched-on correctly.

The baby's lips should resemble the baby in the photo on the right. The lips should be flanged outward and cover the entire nipple and aeriola. The whole area needs to be in the baby's mouth so that the gums press down on the milk ducts releasing the milk and making it easier for the baby to feed.

Make sure you are in a comfortable position and use a breastfeeding pillow if possible. It puts the baby at just the right heigth so there is no strain on your back from leaning over. I loved my pillow and used it long after we quit nursing.

Relax and let your baby nurse for 20 to 30 minutes on each side. Watch your favorite television program (mine was always Law and Order) while your baby nurses or do something relaxing to enjoy your special cuddle time with your little one.

If you need more information or have questions about breastfeeding and nutrition, contact your local Health Department or La Leche League.