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Although breast-feeding is natural, the technique is a learned skill. The first time you breast-feed your baby can be quite exciting, especially if your baby suckles and feeds properly at once. If your baby does not, remember that successful breast-feeding is a combination of practice, practice, and proper positioning.
Latching the baby onto the breast
Both you and your baby should be in a comfortable position. Sitting up in bed or in a chair is comfortable for most women. Looking down on your baby you should be able to draw a visual straight line from your baby's ear to his/her shoulder to his/her hips.
Gently lift and support your breast, with your fingers underneath and your thumb on top, making sure your fingers and the thumb are placed well away from the areola (the darker part of your breast surrounding the nipple). At times it is helpful to role your nipple between your fingers for a few seconds to make it more erect and easier for your baby to grasp.
Lightly tickle your baby's lower lip with your nipple several times. This will encourage your baby to open his/her mouth. The moment he/she opens wide, quickly pull your baby onto your breast until his/her nose and chin are touching your breast. The areola (dark area around the nipple) should be in his/her mouth as much as possible and not just the nipple. If your baby's nostrils are blocked try pulling your baby's bottom upward and closer toward you this will give your baby more space to breath.
Sit in a comfortable chair and rest your baby's head in the bend of your arm. Place a nursing pillow under your elbow to support your baby and minimize muscle tension and fatigue. Tuck your baby's lower arm alongside your body so it will stay out of the way. Your baby's mouth should be even with your nipple and the stomach should face and touch your stomach (tummy to tummy) at breast level.
You may find the football hold to be the most comfortable position for you if you have latch on problems, you have large breasts, your baby is very small or premature, or if you have had a cesarean delivery. Sit in a comfortable chair with a nursing pillow under your arm on the side you will be nursing your baby to support your baby and minimize muscle fatigue. Place your baby's head in the palm of your hand and bring the baby close to your breast and cradle your baby under your arm, as seen in the illustration. Place the fingers of the other hand underneath the breast behind the areola with your thumb on top of the breast.
This is a comfortable, alternative position for night feedings, if you are recovering from a cesarean section, or when you are uncomfortable sitting. Lie on your side with your stomach facing your baby's stomach (tummy to tummy). Use one pillow to support your head and another along your back. Lay your baby opposite your nipple. Support and lift your breast to tickle the baby's mouth, as your baby opens the mouth wide he/she will be ready to latch on.
Here are some other helpful breast-feeding hints:
There are no hard set rules for the first feedings. Do not follow rigid guidelines for feeding times or frequency because these can keep you from establishing a plentiful milk production.
Do not offer your infant a bottle when establishing breast-feeding. Breast-feeding is an active process for your baby while bottle-feeding is passive and requires a different type of suck. Your baby may become nipple confused and refuse the breast the next time you offer it.
Keep your baby in the room with you and breast-feed every 2-3 hours or on demand-whichever comes first. Milk production works on the principle of supply and demand. The more your baby breast-feeds, the more milk you will produce, to totally meet your baby's nutritional needs.
Feed the baby through the night this will ensure and increase your milk production. Let your baby decide when to stop breast-feeding rather than watching the clock and breaking suction yourself to pull your baby off the breast. The length of time that a baby nurses varies widely from baby to baby. Generally, most newborns should feed for at least 15 minutes and they should be able to complete a feeding in 60 minutes or less. Let your baby finish feeding on one breast before offering the other. Keep in mind that limiting the duration of feeding does not prevent sore nipples and may cause milk drainage problems, decreased milk supply, inadequate infant weight gain, or infant jaundice.
Removing your baby from the breast
Occasionally, you may need to take your baby off the breast to feed from the other breast or to end the feeding before your baby is ready to come off by himself/herself. Using this special technique will minimize pulling and tension on your nipple. Place one finger in the corner of your baby's mouth between the gums, as shown in the illustration, and release suction before pulling your baby away to remove your nipple from his mouth.
Advantages of Breast-feeding:
Why you may need to express your milk for your baby
There are many reasons. Any situation that requires you to be away from your baby for more than a couple of hours may make it necessary for you to express your milk. You may need the use of a good breast pump to relieve engorgement or pumping can help with pulling out flat or inverted nipples when your baby is having difficulty latching on. Or your baby was born early or is sick, and is not yet ready to go to the breast. A good breast pump will allow you to receive the stimulation needed to bring in and maintain you milk production so you can provide your baby with mother's milk.
Storing Breast Milk
During pregnancy your body is changing rapidly and you may need several diffrent bra sizes to wear at diffrent times during your pregnancy and nursing experience. We want you to be comfortable and happy with your purchase and would like to help you get the very best fit the first time ; however, if the first bra was not the perfect fit we allow for promt exchanges of unworn bras.
Early pregnacy /1st and 2nd Trimester:
If your Bra is getting too small either in band size or in the cup size, get one size larger in the cup and in the the band size. This will give you room for your expanding rip cage and your breast size. For example, if you are now wearing a 34B, buy a 36C. If you wear a 36 D, buy a 38 E. At this time of pregnancy, your bra should fit on the tightest fitting hooks rather than the loosest fitting hooks. As your baby grows and your rips expands you can adjust the bra by using the hooks further towards the end, thus the bra can grow with you through your pregnancy.
To ensure you will have the extra room you may need for engorgement and bra pads, slip your right hand in the left cup of your bra (and left hand in the right cup),this should give the extra room in your bra after baby is born. When the pregnancy is near the end, you want your bra to fit you so that you are hooked at the end (loosest fitting) hooks rather than the first (tightest fitting) hooks. If you are near the end of your pregnancy and your bra cup fits well (with "hand width" space) but the bra is a bit snug around your chest, a bra extender will be able to give you the extra width you need. These are just general guidelines, to assist you in estimating your bra size.
After the Baby
If the Bra you are currently wearing, fits well without big wrinkles or lumbs and bumps in front or at the side, order that size. However, after the baby is born you will lose some girth and need to be able make your bra tighter.
Bra Fitting Chart
1" difference = A Cup
BUST(3)__________ - BAND (1)___________ = CUP SIZE____________
Everything you purchase from elitemedical.com is fully guaranteed. Look your order over, and if not completely satisfied, we will exchange or return the item for a full refund within 20 days of receipt of the order. We cannot accept returns of opened boxes or personal hygiene items. Compression stockings are personal hygiene items. Special orders may be subject to a 25% restocking fee. Read More...