Breastfeeding is a completely unique connection between you and your baby. This is part of what makes the breastfeeding journey so rewarding for many birthing people. It may take time to learn what works best for you — which may be different from what works for others.
There may be some trial and error involved, but it’s easier if you know what to expect. Below, we’ve answered commonly asked questions about breastfeeding, from finding your ideal positions to latching issues and more.
A good breastfeeding position is one that encourages your baby to properly latch on to your breast. You can nurse while standing, sitting, or lying down — there’s no right or wrong as long as it works for you and your baby.
As you adjust to breastfeeding, you may find it helpful to try some of the more common breastfeeding positions, including these.
The laid-back nursing position
The cradle hold
The cross-cradle hold
A side-lying position is often a good option for those who’ve delivered by a c section.
The ease of breastfeeding has a lot to do with your baby’s latch, or how they take your breast into their mouth to feed. Latching well means that they’re easily able to suck in milk from your breasts. Not only will this ensure that they get enough to eat, but it can also help with nipple soreness and maintaining a steady milk supply.
Few babies, if any, are born knowing how to perfectly latch on, so prepare for some trial and error. To trigger the flow of milk, your baby should latch on to not only your nipple but part of the surrounding areola as well.
If your baby has only taken the nipple, place your finger in the corner of your baby’s mouth to gently unlatch and try again. It’s important to not pull your baby off of your breast without unlatching first. You’re on track to a proper latch if your baby’s chin and nose touch your breast and if their lips are turned outward rather than tucked in.
Many people are concerned about producing enough milk, especially when breastfeeding for the first time. If your baby is able to latch on properly and feed regularly throughout the day, your body should be producing enough milk.
As your newborn starts to feed more frequently, diaper changes will also increase. Counting diapers can give you a good sense of how much breast milk your baby is consuming. Here are some general guidelines:
Sometimes, even with all the preparation, breastfeeding challenges arise. The support of a lactation consultant is pivotal if there are issues with your baby’s latch or your milk supply. Ruth Health offers nearly 24/7 virtual lactation support from Certified Lactation Counselors (CLCs) to provide individualized care on your time.
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