Some moms find that the following positions are helpful ways to get comfortable and support their babies while breastfeeding. You also can use pillows under your arms, elbows, neck, or back to give you added comfort and support. Keep trying different positions until you are comfortable. What works for one feeding may not work for the next feeding.
Many moms say their breasts feel tender when they first start breastfeeding. A mother and her baby need time to find comfortable breastfeeding positions and a good latch. If breastfeeding hurts, your baby may be sucking on only the nipple. Gently break your baby’s suction to your breast by placing a clean finger in the corner of your baby’s mouth. Then try again to get your baby to latch on. To find out whether your baby is sucking only on your nipple, check what your nipple looks like when it comes out of your baby’s mouth. Your nipple should not look flat or compressed. It should look round and long or the same shape it was before the feeding.
Early and often! Newborns usually need to nurse at least eight to 12 times every 24 hours. This also helps make sure you will make plenty of milk. Healthy babies develop their own feeding patterns. Follow your baby’s cues for when he or she is ready to eat.
If your goal is to breastfeed, it is generally best to wait to introduce a bottle or pacifier until after breastfeeding is established (usually around 3-4 weeks).
There is no set time for feedings. They may be 15 to 20 minutes per breast. They may be shorter or longer. Your baby will let you know when he or she is finished feeding. If you worry that your baby is not getting enough milk, talk to your baby’s doctor.
Many leading health organizations recommend that most infants breastfeed for at least 12 months, with exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. This means that babies are not given any foods or liquids other than breastmilk for the first six months.
Here are some current breastfeeding rates for the US:
|At 6 months||57.6%|
|At 1 year||35.9%|
|Exclusively through 3 months||46.9%|
|Exclusively through 6 months||24.9%|
The average length of breastfeeding is 17 weeks in the US.
Weaning should be gradual, so your breasts don’t become painfully engorged.
Most mothers can make plenty of milk for their babies. But many mothers worry about having enough milk. Checking your baby’s weight and growth is the best way to make sure he gets enough milk. Let your baby’s doctor know if you are concerned.
There may be times when you think your supply is low, but it is actually just fine.
It is normal for your breasts to become larger, heavier, and a little tender when they begin making milk. Sometimes, this fullness may turn into engorgement, which is when your breasts feel hard and painful. You also may have breast swelling, tenderness, warmth, redness, throbbing, and flattening of the nipple. Engorgement sometimes also causes a low-grade fever and can be confused with a breast infection. Engorgement is the result of the milk building up. It usually happens during the third to fifth day after giving birth. But it can happen at any time, especially if you are not feeding your baby or expressing your milk often. Engorgement can lead to plugged ducts or a breast infection, so it is important to try to prevent it before this happens. If treated, engorgement should fix itself.
Plugged ducts are common in breastfeeding mothers. A plugged milk duct feels like a tender and sore lump in the breast. You should not have a fever or other symptoms. A plugged duct happens when a milk duct does not drain properly. Pressure then builds up behind the plug, and surrounding tissue gets inflamed. A plugged duct usually happens in one breast at a time.If your plugged duct doesn’t loosen up, ask for help from a lactation consultant. Plugged ducts can lead to a breast infection.
Mastitis is soreness or a lump in the breast. It can cause the following symptoms:
A breast infection can happen when other family members have a cold or the seasonal flu. It usually only happens in one breast. It is not always easy to tell the difference between a breast infection and a plugged duct. They have similar symptoms and can improve within 24 to 48 hours. Some breast infections that do not improve within this time period need to be treated with medicine from your doctor.
A fungal infection, also called a yeast infection or thrush, can form on your nipples or in your breast. This type of infection thrives on milk and forms from an overgrowth of the Candida organism. Candida lives in our bodies and is kept healthy by the natural bacteria in our bodies. When the natural balance of bacteria is upset, Candida can overgrow, causing an infection.
Signs of a fungal infection include:
Fungal infections may take several weeks to clear up, so it is important to follow these tips to avoid spreading the infection: