If you have a new bundle of joy around, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed while you figure out how to care for them! When it comes to feeding your newborn, you can choose between breastfeeding and formula-feeding, both of which have benefits. Some families even do a mixture of both. As long as you're responding to your baby's hunger, they should be fine. Whichever way, always stick to breast milk or formula; feeding them water or juice can deprive them of necessary nutrients, as their tiny bellies can only hold so much.
Breastfeeding Your Baby with the Quiet Breast Pump
Provide skin-to-skin contact for your baby in the first hours after birth. The first time you feed your baby should be directly after birth. Your nurse or another health practitioner can help you get in the correct position with your baby to provide food.
· The first few feedings won't actually be milk. Rather, you'll be giving your baby colostrum, a thin yellow substance full of vitamins and minerals. Your milk should come in within a few days, and it will be helped along by the baby's sucking action.
Position your baby against your stomach within easy reach of your breasts.Their stomach should be on yours, and they shouldn't have to move to reach your nipples. They need to be facing you so they don't have to turn their head.
· They will have an easier time swallowing if they don't have to turn their head.
Encourage your baby to latch on by providing your nipple. Gently grasp your breast and run your nipple across their lips to encourage them to open up. If they need more encouragement, you can squeeze a little fluid onto their lips. Once they get the taste, they'll likely open up.
· If their head is turned away, rub their cheek gently so they turn towards you.
· Don't let go of your breast until they latch on.
Move the baby towards you when they open their mouth. If you need to, move your baby up a little and towards you so they can better latch onto your nipple. Once they reach the nipple, they should latch on to your breast.
· You want your baby to move towards you so they soon start to suckle all on their own without help.
Check to see if your baby is attached properly. When they are latched on properly, their mouth will cover all of the nipple and part of the areola, particularly below the nipple. Their nose should only barely touch the breast, if at all, while their chin should be up against it. Their mouth will be open wide over the nipple with the lips outward rather than inward.
· If their lips are tucked in, the newborn may try to suck on them instead of your nipple. Also, check to see that they aren't sucking on their own tongue.
· Your baby will likely take a few practice sucks before sucking in earnest.
Watch and listen to make sure your baby is getting fluid. When they're getting enough fluid, they will suck, swallow, and breath in a pattern, which you should be able to see and hear. You'll also see their cheek, ears, and jaw moving in a steady pattern.
· Listen to make sure you hear your baby swallowing milk.
· Clicking sounds mean your baby isn't latched properly, and you need to start over. Use your finger to gently break the suction at the side of their mouth before encouraging them to latch on again.
Expect feedings to take 20-30 minutes each time. While each baby is different, feeding sessions are typically not short. You should let them eat each time until they are full and pull away from your nipple, indicating they're done. They may also fall asleep when they're done.
· If your baby doesn't pull away, listen to their sucking pattern. If they are sucking more than swallowing, they are getting full.
Let your baby empty one breast before offering the other. As your baby seems to be finished with the first one, let them try on your other breast. Emptying one breast is important, as it lets them get the full nutrients of the hindmilk. If your baby doesn't want the second breast, start with that one on the next feeding.