after delivery

Breast-feeding tips

Proper latch and detach are the key to successful breast-feeding

If you're breast-feeding, your breasts will become full and tender two or three days after birth as your milk comes in. The size of your breasts doesn't matter; every woman can breast-feed. Breast milk is the healthiest food for babies, and if you eat well and drink lots of fluids, the milk is always ready. Follow these tips for successful breast-feeding:

Start the first feeding as soon as possible after delivery. If for any reason you can't begin right after delivery, don't worry. As soon as you're ready is a good time to start

Proper latch-on is the key to preventing sore nipples. Latch-on is how the baby attaches to the areola (the dark area around the nipple)

  • Gently touch your nipple to the baby's lips
  • Wait for the mouth to open and the tongue to extend
  • The baby's tongue extends over the lower jaw to form a soft pad that will hold your nipple while nursing

Feed your baby every two or three hours

  • Nurse as often as your baby is hungry
  • Spend 5 to 15 minutes on each breast for each feeding
  • It's important for the health of your breasts to have the baby feed from both breasts at each feeding
  • Frequent nursing helps stimulate the milk supply and prevents soreness

Proper detach avoids trauma to your nipples. To remove the baby from your breast, put your little finger between the baby's lips to gently break the suction

Try not to skip feedings. Rest during the day so that night feedings are easier

How do you know if your baby is eating enough?

If you're breast-feeding, there's no need for extra water or formula feedings. If your baby has six to eight wet diapers a day and is gaining weight, your baby is getting enough to eat. When a baby has a growth spurt, they will nurse longer

Growth spurts often occur at:

  • Three to five days
  • Ten to 14 days
  • Six weeks
  • Twelve weeks
  • Six months

Find out which breast-feeding positions work for you. Learn more about nipple and breast care.