Doctors always recommend breastfeeding up to the age of six months but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to accomplish. In fact, getting a newborn to breastfeed doesn’t always come as naturally as new parents would like. If you have a few tricks up your sleeve, however, you might have an easier time.
1. Take An Early Shot
As long as it’s possible, doctors recommend taking your first shot at breastfeeding within the first hour of birth. After that, your newborn will be sleepy and less likely to want to latch on to be fed.
2. Build Closeness
Even if early breastfeeding isn’t in the cards, you can ask to keep your baby with you. If you can hold them, this helps build closeness and promote a hormonal response that will help with your milk production.
3. Pay Attention To Your Baby’s Feet
When you’re getting ready to breastfeed, it helps if your baby’s feet are touching something. Whether it’s your leg, a pillow, or a blanket, the contact helps them feel more secure.
4. Try For A Deep Latch
Successful breastfeeding starts with what’s known as a deep latch. To accomplish this, make sure that your baby’s stomach is touching yours so they don’t have to turn. You should then point your nipple at their nose so they have to raise their head a little to get it. That should result in a wide-open mouth.
RELATED: 5 Breastfeeding Hacks For New Moms
5. Give The Baby A Mouthful
Once you’re set up for the deep latch, you can hold the baby firmly while supporting your breast. Your nipple should fill the roof of their mouth and when they latch, the baby’s mouth should cover some of the areola as well. If this doesn’t happen, you can detach and try again.
6. Leave The Baby’s Head Alone
You may feel the instinct to push your baby’s head forward but this only causes them to resist and even bite down. It’s better to hold them by the neck instead.
7. Anticipate Your Baby’s Needs
Over time, it’s helpful to know the signs that your baby is hungry. If you wait until they’re crying, they may be too irritable to latch correctly. A few signs to look out for include turning the head repeatedly, sucking on what’s nearby, and sticking out the tongue.
8. Avoid Pacifiers
Doctors recommend avoiding pacifiers until after your baby’s first month as they can suppress hunger cues and interfere with breastfeeding.
9. Focus On Your Diet
You should ensure that your diet matches your baby’s breastfeeding needs. While 300 extra daily calories are usually enough, you may need to modify that if you’re exercising or have multiples.