Breastfeeding Basics

For many of us, finding out that we are pregnant is the best the most exciting news that we have ever heard. When the newness has worn off and the birth of the child is near, you may have the feeling of “ok…now what?!” Because nature and genetics cause many things to happen that we have little or no control over, we feel almost helpless over the safety and well-being of our soon-to-arrive infants. The good news is, we can control the amount of nutrition they get and how good it is for them. Breastfeeding is by far the most wonderful gift you can give your new baby. It is natural, safe and much easier on the digestive tract than formulas. And to top it all off, breastfed babies are typically healthier in general than formula fed babies.

Ok, so you’ve decided to breastfeed when suddenly you realize that since you’ve never done it before you don’t really know how. The first thing you should now is this…the more comfortable you are, the more comfortable your child will be. Next, bring baby to breast, not breast to baby. There are several positions that you can try. Women usually find what works best for them and their baby through trial and error and stick with it. Here are a few positions that you might try.
-The Cradle Position- The baby’s head is cradled in your left arm when feeding from the left breast and in the right arm when feeding from the right breast.
-Football Hold- This is the best position to use if you’ve delivered via c-section and are lying flat on your back. The baby’s head is held in the hand of the side which you are feeding from and the feet of the baby are off to your side.
-Cross-cradle- The baby’s head is in your hand opposite of the breast that they are feeding from.
– Side-Lying- You are laying on your side (putting something behind your back for support and comfort may help) and your baby is laying on his/her side against you feeding from the breast.
– Boppy- Becoming increasingly popular, the boppy pillow can be purchased for around $20.00 from nearly any store that sells baby clothes and the likes. The pillow wraps around the mother giving support to the baby and the mother’s arms.

Regardless of the position that you use, please know that you are about to embark on a very special time of bonding for you and your baby. You’ve made the very important decision to breastfeed, which means you’ve just given your baby the best possible start…Good luck!