A proper breastfeeding position will ensure that your baby is breastfeeding and not nipple-feeding. This means that the baby should be taking not only the nipple into her mouth, but part of the breast as well, that is the best breastfeeding position!
For effective transfer of milk from the breast to the baby’s mouth, you can choose between two best breastfeeding positions - sitting or lying down position. The important thing is that you should feel comfortable. If you are sitting, in a upright breastfeeding position, you will find it more comfortable if your back is supported.
Lift your breast with your palm and offer the nipple as well as the breast to the baby. Do not pinch the nipple or the breast or try to push the nipple into the baby’s mouth. Touch the baby’s lips with your nipple. If the baby opens her mouth a little, do not offer the breast and the nipple. Again touch her lips with your nipple. As soon as she opens her mouth wide and shows interest in feeding, quickly move her on to the breast. Let the baby’s lower lip be well below the nipple. This helps to get the baby’s chin close to the breast so that her tongue is right under the calciferous sinuses containing milk.
Then the nipple is positioned above the centre of the baby’s mouth, so that it points towards the palate. Once the baby is correctly latched on and the nipple touches the palate, the baby starts suckling and when her mouth fills with milk, she swallows it. This is the proper breastfeeding position.
To make sure that your baby is properly latched on, ensure the following:
1. Your baby’s entire body, including her neck, shoulder and abdomen, should be facing you and close to your body. Her chin should touch the breast. This is the proper breastfeeding position.
2. Her mouth should be wide open with her lips curled outwards.
3. More of the areola should be visible above the baby’s upper lips and less below the lower lip. But if the areola is big, more of it may be visible, even if the baby is positioned properly.
4. The baby should be taking slow, deep sucks.
5. After the feed, the baby should appear relaxed and satisfied.
6. You should not feel any nipple pain.
7. You should be able to hear your baby swallow, but this is not essential.
After offering the breast to the baby, keep your other hand free to stroke her hair or play with her fingers. Do not put a finger on the breast near the baby’s nose to prevent any difficulty in breathing; this is unnecessary and may interfere with proper breastfeeding.
Source: Book - Guide to Child Care by Dr R K Anand
To consult Dr R K Anand in person, click here
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