Back to basics: Nursing your newborn


Nurse Your Baby Early and Often

Your baby should be fed on cue at least every two to three hours. Nursing your baby early and often helps to keep your breasts soft and graspable, and helps to lessen or even prevent engorgement. Watch your little one for signs of hunger, such as sucking sounds and/or lip movements, rapid eye movement during the light sleep cycle and changes in facial expression. Try to anticipate your baby's hunger by watching for these signs. A hungry baby may be difficult to help settle in at the breast. Nursing on cue stimulates your breasts to produce plenty of milk. The more your baby nurses, the more milk you will make.


Nursing Positions

Once you are home and beginning to settle in, find a comfortable spot to feed your baby. It is difficult for some moms to get comfortable nursing their newborn in bed. If this is the case, find a comfortable chair to sit in. Have lots of pillows handy. Support your arm and back with pillows. Lean back slightly and have feet resting on a low footstool (a thick phone book will work too), knees slightly raised. Your baby should be level with your breast. (Again, pillows help to raise your baby without putting excess strain on your arms and back.) Nursing should be comfortable for you and your baby. Unwrap her and place her against your bare skin. If it is chilly in the room, cover yourselves with a light blanket. Skin to skin contact stimulates your baby, helping her to remain alert during these early feeds.

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