As a breastfeeding advocate, I would like to share to first-time moms the proper way on how to have a good latch and make breastfeeding easier and a comfortable experience for both the moms and the babies. This was what I followed in the 2 1/2 years that I breastfed my daughter.
- With a clean washcloth or cotton swabs, wipe your breasts clean before your baby feeds.
- Sit comfortably in an upright position. A pillow can help bring your baby to the proper level. Raise one knee to help support his body.
- Support your baby’s head and bring him close to your breast.
- Stroke the baby’s cheek nearest you; your baby will turn to you and search for your nipple to find food. This is called the “rooting reflex”.
- Guide your nipple toward his mouth. Baby’s chin should be against the breast and his tongue underneath your nipple. As he sucks, let your baby touch and stroke your breast. Make sure that he’s sucking on the whole areola (darkened area of the breast), not just the nipple. If he sucks on the nipple, you’ll get sore and he won’t get any milk. Your baby will begin sucking vigorously and find his own pace.
- When his sucking subsides, switch him to other breast until he stops feeding.
- Next time he feeds, start from the breast he nursed from last and repeat the same procedure. This way, he’ll receive equal amounts of milk from each breast and you’ll avoid the sensation of overfullness in either of your breasts.
[Source: My Baby Book (GlaxoSmithKline)]
To my fellow mommies, let’s make breastfeeding our advocacy. Let’s encourage and educate soon-to-be-moms regarding the advantages of breastfeeding and also the lactating mothers to continuously breastfeed their babies beyond 6 months of age. Let’s all put in mind that there’s no substitute for breastmilk so let’s maximize our capacity to produce milk for the benefit of our babies.