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Top tips for breastfeeding

If you’ve never tried it before, it’s only natural to wonder how you’ll do with breastfeeding. Here are a few practical tips for beginners.
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Arm and back support. Before you feed, make sure you’re seated comfortably with full support for your back, feet and arms. Use a breastfeeding pillow or other firm, thick pillow to help support the baby’s weight. She’ll seem very light at first, but after 20 minutes she’ll feel a lot heavier!

Make the nipple sandwich. Compress the entire dark part of your nipple with your thumb on top and fingers underneath. Tickle baby's mouth with your nipple so her mouth will reflexively open and then stuff the whole nipple sandwich as far back into her mouth as you can. The object is to get the “sprinkler” part of your nipple to the very back of her tongue. You’ll know you’re positioned right when the baby’s mouth makes a tight seal around almost all of the dark part of your nipple.

Take your time. In the first weeks, you can’t feed too often or for too long. Let your baby feed on demand and for as long as she wants on each side. It can take a newborn as long as 30 minutes a side to get enough, and she will probably need to feed every one to three hours. Once you and baby get the hang of it, feedings will naturally start to get faster and further apart.

Count diapers. There’s no simple way to tell exactly how much milk a breastfed baby gets at a feed, but you’ll know your baby’s getting enough if you see her jaw moving and hear her swallowing, if she produces at least six wet diapers every 24 hours and if she’s gaining weight at a rate of at least a half-ounce per day.

Sandy & Marcie Jones are the authors of Great Expectations: Baby’s First Year. Order your copy from Barnes & Noble.

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  • Rated 0 out of 5 by 61reviewers.
    Rated 0 out of 5 by JUST POWER THREW THE PAIN IT TOK ME A MONTH OF CRYING NOW I DONT EVEN NOTICE SHE EATS JUST GET PASSED THE INITAL START February 25, 2015
    Rated 0 out of 5 by breastfeeding is a wonderful thing everyone is different for me it was just fine I had no problems I only breast fed for 4months because I just got dried up but I definetly recommend breastfeeding it is the beast thing you can do for your baby even pumping its natural and its good for you and your body you will definetly lose weight!! February 6, 2015
    Rated 0 out of 5 by Holy cow! Breastfeeding is a lot harder than one would think! I have actually educated others on it for one of my jobs, but at that time had never personally done it. Now that I am a breastfeeding mama (of 10 months and going), I realize how much work it takes. I personally think it is WELL worth it. It seems like something that should come naturally, but it's not. In the beginning if it hurts, then you are probably doing something wrong. There are a ton of resources for BF moms. USE THEM IF IT HURTS. Try calling a nearby hospital, lactation consultant or even "La Leche League" to get in touch with someone who can help. Aside from reducing my risk of breast, cervical and ovarian cancer, breastfeeding has also made my baby and I even closer. Plus he is hardly ever sick. I take great joy in knowing that I am doing all I can to help his little brain and body grow! And not that formula moms aren't doing a great job, too, it's just different. I hope this review hasn't offended anyone. Facts are facts; I can say as a nutrition expert by profession- if you can, breast is best. January 2, 2015
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I agree that arm and back support are necessary. Even though I am breastfeeding my second child, in the first two weeks I had neck strain due to not enough support. But I learned from my mistakes and it has not happened since. December 10, 2014
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