Relax and place your baby close to your breast. This will position him or her for feeding.
Encourage your baby to open his or her mouth and latch on (take your breast into his or her mouth).
Tickling your baby’s lower lip with your nipple will make his or her mouth open wide enough to latch on. (Baby’s mouth should open as wide as a yawn).
When your baby latches on, you should be sure that he or she is taking in most of the dark area around the nipple. After baby latches on: Let your baby feed until he or she is satisfied. Babies typically feed for about 10 to 20 minutes on each breast.
Gently slide your finger into your baby’s mouth and remove your breast. Once your baby is finished feeding, you should burp him or her and then offer the other breast. Remember to start with a different breast each time you feed your baby.
Getting in Position
There are three basic positions that you can use to breastfeed your newborn: the cradle hold, football hold and side-lying hold. Read about the different holds and then choose the one that works best for you. You may use the same one all the time or switch up. The most important thing is that you are comfortable and that your baby is being supported.
The cradle hold, one of the most common positions, looks much like it sounds. Cradle baby in your arms and raise him or her up to your breast. You can rest your baby’s head in the crook of one arm and use the other hand to gently place your breast in your baby’s mouth. Be sure to sit up straight and use a pillow, if necessary, to raise your baby to the height of your breast.
Imagine a football player holding a football. That’s what the football hold looks like, except you are holding a precious baby. Hold your baby’s head in the palm of your hand and place his or her legs in between your arm and body. Use your forearm to support your baby’s shoulders and spine. You may need to lay your baby on a pillow for additional support or lift the baby to your breast. The football hold takes the pressure of the baby’s weight off your stomach and can be more comfortable for women who are recovering from a C-section.
This position looks just like it sounds. Lie down on your side so that you are tummy-to-tummy with your baby. Use your hands to support your baby’s head, neck and back. You can use pillows to support yourself. Once in position, gently bring your baby to your breast to begin feeding.