Breastfeeding is good news for baby and you
- Breast milk is tailor-made for your baby and gives them all the nutrients they need in the first six months, and alongside other foods thereafter.
- Breast milk boots your baby’s ability to fight illness and infection
- Breastfeeding lowers your risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer and burns about 500 calories a day
- It is a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your baby
How to breastfeed
- Hold your baby’s whole body close with his nose level with your nipple
- Let your baby’s head tip back a little so that his top lip can brush against your nipple. This should help your baby to make a wide open mouth
- When your baby’s mouth opens wide, his chin is able to touch your breast first, with his head tipped back so that his tongue can reach as much breast as possible
- With his chin firmly touching your breast and his nose clear, his mouth is wide open. There will be much more of the darker skin visible above your baby’s top lip than below his bottom lip. Your baby’s cheeks will look full and rounded as they feed.
Signs your baby is feeding well
- Your baby has a large mouthful of breast
- Your baby’s chin is firmly touching your breast
- It doesn’t hurt you when your baby feeds (although the first few sucks may feel strong).
- If you can see the dark skin around your nipple, you should see more dark skin above your baby’s top lip than your baby’s bottom lip
- Your baby’s cheeks stay rounded during sucking
- Your baby rhythmically takes long sucks and swallows (it is normal for you baby to pause from time to time)
- Your baby finishes the feed and comes off the breast on his or her own
How do I know my baby is getting enough milk?
- Your baby should be healthy and gaining weight after the first two weeks
- In the first 48 hours, your baby is likely to have only 2 or 3 wet nappies. Wet nappies should then start to become more frequent, with at least 6 every 24 hours from day 5 onwards
- At the beginning, your baby will pass a black tar-like stool (poo called meconium). By day 3 this should be changing to a lighter, runnier, greenish stool that is easier to clean up. From day 4 and for the first few weeks your baby should pass 2 or more yellow stools a day. Most baby’s pass lots of stools and this is a good sign. Remember, it’s normal for breastfed babies to pass loose stools. Your baby should have at least 6 wet nappies a day , and two dirty nappies a day, and the amount of poo varies from baby to baby. If you are concerned your baby is not getting enough milk, speak to your midwife or health visitor.
- Your breasts and nipples should not be sore. If they are, do ask for help.
- Your baby will be content and satisfied after most feeds and will come off the breast on their own.
- If you are concerned about any of these points, please speak to your midwife or health visitor