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Breastfeeding Help for New Moms

Updated on August 28, 2011
This baby has an excellent latch.
This baby has an excellent latch.
Poor latch, just to give you an idea.
Poor latch, just to give you an idea.

Breastfeeding is one of the most nurturing and loving things you can do for your new baby and even for yourself as a new mom. It doesn't always come easy though. I'm saying this from experience, as a mom of 5 beautiful children, all of whom have been breastfed. Each time I've had a child it has been a different experience, and not always easy. Ideally breastfeeding should be easy and painless, we'll talk about that in a minute.

First you need to remember that you are not alone. Any woman that has ever had a child can empathize with what you are going through. It is a concious decision made. Breastfeeding is promoted rapidly because of all of the wonderful benefits it has.

  • Better for Mom, less incidence of breast cancer linked to women that breastfeed their children, helps mom to lose those baby pounds that came piling on during pregnancy.
  • Better for Baby, breast milk contains essential nutrients for a growing newborn's brain and body. Many essential compounds can only be found in breast milk and cannot be synthetically reproduced in formula.
  • Passes on immunity from mom to baby and babies experience less maladies than formula fed babes, such as ear infections,diarrea, rashes and allergies.
  • Helps create a loving bond between mom and baby. Breastfeeding aids in the emotional development of the child and helps them to form bonds with others outside of their family.

Now that we've talked about benefits, that I'm sure you've heard many times, lets talk about how to. First, the best time to start is right after baby is born. There will not be much milk in the first couple of days, as there is colostrum, a highly nutritious food that baby will benefit from. Remember too, that the babies belly at that point is the size of a grape.

Next the whole basis of breastfeeding is to get the baby to latch on properly. Even if mom has lots of milk, a baby with a poor latch is like sucking a bottle with too small of a hole in the nipple, baby has to put a lot of effort into filling his belly, and he will breastfeed often to get enough. He's burning energy to get enough to sustain himself. Thus a good latch makes a huge difference. I remember when I had my fifth child and thought to myself, what is going on here? I know how to breastfeed, why can't I do it? Well it was the babies latch that was a problem, and at almost 10 pounds he needed food. I was breastfeeding hourly, that was a challenge! That may convince some to give up and think that they do not have enough breast milk to give when in fact its a problem with the latch.

  1. Find a comfortable spot, quiet, dim lighting, a calm atmosphere will help you. Also if you are skin to skin this makes breastfeeding easier, is calming for both you and babe.
  2. You may want to support babies body on your arm and wrap around your belly.
  3. Tickle babies bottom lip until he opens his mouth wide and point the nipple towards the roof of his mouth. When he opens his mouth nice and wide bring his head to your breast.
  4. Make sure his bottom lip is covering areola, its the bottom lip and jaw that does all of the work.
  5. Listen for swallowing, the longer the pause in between sucks the more he is getting.

Most importantly keep at it, keep trying to improve the latch and if you feel he isn't getting enough consult a lactation consultant, and chances are if you have sore nipples you need to improve the latch. Some sources of help may be to talk to other moms, your family, midwife or doctor and remember it's temporary. They grow up so fast and all we want is to give our kids the best chances for a wonderful and healthy life. And this is one of the first ways to do that.


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    • Steph0596 profile image

      Steph0596 7 years ago from Ontario


    • winegoddess55 profile image

      winegoddess55 7 years ago from Mount Forest

      Hi Stephanie, I loved your article. Did you add the photos? This is an excellent article and very encouraging especially for first time moms. Good job mamma!