02 03 More 4 Mums Maternity Blog - for Pregnant and Nursing Mums: Breastfeeding Hints and Tips 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Breastfeeding Hints and Tips

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As a mum who breastfed two hungry babies I know how difficult it can sometimes be, I know its natural but it still has to be learnt - hopefully some of the advice below may help.

Breastfeeding is a learnt art and should not hurt, although some mothers describe the initial sucks in the early days as tender, as the baby stretches the breast tissue. If you experience nipple soreness beyond a slight tenderness when your baby latches on you may need to make some adjustments so you can be comfortable and enjoy breastfeeding your baby.

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Uncomfortable positioning and attachment is the most frequent cause of sore nipples. Most mothers find that by holding their baby on his side, wrapping him around their body and waiting for him to open his mouth wide to take a large mouthful of breast, the nipple is safely protected at the back of the baby's mouth.

Some nursing mothers find these tips useful:
● Support your baby on her side on your lap, coming to the breast slightly from underneath. To feed on the left breast, for example, with your baby facing you, hold her bottom to you with your right elbow, your right hand on her shoulder blades, your finger and thumb either side of her neck.
● Allow your breast to rest naturally, i.e. not held up to your baby. If you wish to support your breast, keep your fingers well back from the nipple.
● The baby's chin is held to the breast about 3 cm from the nipple (nose to nipple).
● Your baby will tilt his head back a bit, open his mouth wide with his tongue down and take a big mouthful of breast tissue along the tongue, while you bring your baby onto the breast.
● When the baby is sucking strongly, the mother will often bring her left arm around the baby so the baby's head is along this arm, and then the right arm can relax.
● Your baby should come off the breast when she has had enough. You can then offer the other breast, mirroring the above.

Other mothers prefer the rugby or clutch position, with their baby's feet out behind them, or the cradle hold (across the lap), or lying down. In each position it is important to enable your baby to take a large mouthful of breast so that your nipple is protected. This should immediately be more comfortable for you. If the pain persists beyond the first few 'stretching' sucks after a day or two whilst healing is happening, help from a breastfeeding specialist is advisable, as there could be other causes.

Useful Organisations
National Childbirth Trust (NCT) Breastfeeding Line: 0870 444 8708
La Leche League: 0845 120 2918
Association of Breastfeeding Mothers: 08444 122 949

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