Learning to breastfeed can take time, practice and patience.
You can usually start breastfeeding within the first few hours after birth. The first milk (colostrum) is thick and yellow in colour. It is very rich in protein and antibodies that will help give your baby a great start to life. The milk gradually becomes thinner and more watery looking during the first week. You will continue to produce milk as your baby feeds.
Tips for getting started with breastfeeding
Make sure you’re in a comfortable position and well supported with pillows if needed.
There are different ways you can hold your baby for breastfeeding. When you hold your baby close to you, unwrapped or skin to skin against your chest, they may find the nipple and begin feeding without any help.
Partners can make the breastfeeding process easier by being encouraging and taking the pressure off other parts of mum’s life.
Signs of good attachment
Finding an attachment technique that works for you and your baby can make all the difference. It can help to avoid common problems like sore or cracked nipples and make breastfeeding a more pleasant experience. Look out for the following signs:
breastfeeding feels comfortable, not painful
your baby is sucking deeply and regularly
your baby takes the whole nipple and a large amount of the areola into its mouth
your baby’s chin is pressed into your breast and nose is clear or just touching your breast
your baby’s lips are turned out over your breast
your nipples stay in good condition, and don’t show any signs of damage
your baby is draining your breast properly, so that it feels lighter after a feed
For more tips, watch this video on attachment found on Raising Children Network.
If you have any questions or any problems, don’t be afraid to seek help from your midwife, or lactation consultant, Child and Family Health Nurse or you can call the Breastfeeding Helpline on 1800 686 268 (1800 mum2mum).
The Australian Breastfeeding Association runs a number of Breastfeeding Support Groups across Australia. You can search for your nearest group on their website.
For more information, visit:
[Source: Australian Breastfeeding Association; Pregnancy Birth and Baby; Raising Children Network]