Breast milk production is based on supply and demand.
The goal is to drain each breast fully- this will stimulate the feedback system in order to keep up with baby’s demands
Feedings will not always take the same amount of time - sometimes they will “snack” for a few minutes, then want to feed again in 30 minutes or so. This is okay and all part of the regulation of milk.
Latch and positioning:
Support the back of the infant during feedings by keeping your thumb and finger on your baby's ears and supporting the back with the palm of your hand.
Remember to keep them in a neutral position: chest to chest, head straight not turned to the side, and neck slightly extended
Rub the “tip of the nip on the top lip” and when your baby opens wide and their jaw is down, quickly bring your baby onto the breast.
Think about taking a bit out of a sandwich - let lower jaw touch below the base of the nipple first, then bring baby's head down on the rest of the areola and nipple
When your baby is latched properly you will feel pulling, suction & pressure. It should NOT be painful!
Nipples will be tender and sore for the first week or so, but then toughen up quickly.
Saline soaks, silver breast shields, coconut oil or nipple balms, and especially breast milk itself can be rubbed/placed on the nipples to help with soreness.
If you’re having severe nipple pain, flattening of the nipple after the baby comes off, blistering/bleeding/cracked nipples - please contact us so we can assist you as these are not normal.
If your infant is pokey at the breast, not very vigorous, you’re not hearing good swallows frequently through the feeding, and your breasts are still full, heavy or achy after a feeding then I recommend pumping to empty the breast.
If you plan to offer bottles at any point down the road, I recommend starting to pump once daily around 3 weeks of age to start building a supply for your freezer.
You can offer bottles a few times a week to allow the infant to get used to bottle feeding.
Here is a good video on how to pace the feeding from a bottle
When to worry?
If your baby is not making at least 1 wet diaper per day of life, or 6-8 wet diapers per day after 1 week of life.
If your baby is inconsolable - will not calm or stop crying, or take a pacifier, breast, bottle, etc.
If your baby is < 3 months old and has a fever > 100.3
Kellymom.com → Great resource for breastfeeding questions
Lalecheleague.org → IBCLC supported website with breastfeeding evidence based information