Although your milk doesn’t arrive for three to five days after your baby, try breastfeeding as soon as you meet your bundle of joy. It’s a great bonding experience, and your body is producing colostrum that your baby needs. Plus, the sucking stimulates your milk production, so don’t delay!
Pick a position
There are four main positions for breastfeeding: cradle, clutch (football hold), transition and lying down. Cradle is the most common nursing position, but you might find another more comfortable. For example, premature babies who need more support are best nursed in the transition position, and the clutch position is used to tandem feed twins (that’s dedication!).
Master the latch
Successful breastfeeding is dependent on proper latch, so if you are unsure if your baby has got it, ask to meet with a lactation consultant before leaving the hospital, while the service is free. Your baby may be nursing, but if he’s not latched on correctly it will feel more like he’s trying to gum your nipple to pieces. Eek!
The first few weeks of breastfeeding establish your milk supply, so be sure to nurse often. Most newborns chow every two hours.
Feed on one side until your baby is satiated, then offer the other side as “dessert.” Your baby doesn’t need to eat on both sides at each feeding, but be sure to alternate which side you nurse from first.
Avoid nipple confusion
If introducing a bottle, wait until breastfeeding has been fully established, typically when your baby has been nursing for three to four weeks.