Removing the baby from the breast. If your baby is well fixed on the breast it will be difficult to break the suction, unless she has had enough and falls asleep letting the nipple slide out, or if she is still sleepy from the birth, or tired from crying. Never flick a sleepy baby’s feet to wake her or make a loud noise, a cool cloth on her face is all that is needed, or lying her flat and changing her nappy.

Gently insert your finger into the corner of her mouth to break the suction, when you want to take her off the breast.

You can dip your finger in petroleum jelly before doing it if necessary. Never pull a baby off the breast, you could graze your nipples painfully.

After you have fed your baby dry your nipples with a clean tissue or cotton wool and leave your bra open so that air can circulate around your nipples. No creams are necessary, and make sure you do not use plastic lined bras or breast pads. Your nipples must not become soggy.

Time at the breast. You may be admonished to put your baby to the breast for only two or three minutes every four hours in the first few days. This is far too little to stimulate the milk flow and prevent engorgement. The theory behind putting the baby to the breast for slowly increasing periods of time is that it will prevent your nipples from becoming sore. However, your nipples are far more likely to become tender from incorrect fixing of the baby and from pulling her off the breast.

The big secret in getting breast feeding established lies not so much in how long the baby spends at the breast, but how often she sucks. Frequent sucking stimulates the hormones which produce milk and this, after all, is likely to be your biggest concern ” that you will not have enough milk. So feed your baby as often as she demands it. If she is sedated from the birth, she will have to be woken if she sleeps for longer than four hours at a stretch, and may suck poorly at first.


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