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How to Manage Breastfeeding

Learn key tips and best positions for breastfeeding, including how to get baby to latch and advice on burping.

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Breastfeeding can be done in the lying or sitting position. What's more important for you is to find a position where you are comfortable. You may want to use either a cushion or duvet for support, so that you can sit or lie down and relax as much as possible. Hold your baby so that her mouth is at the same level as your nipple but make sure that you don't have to bend down or lift the baby up to do so. Let your baby's mouth brush your nipple. She will then open her mouth and look for your breast. You can also get your baby to feed by gently stroking her on the cheek nearest to you. She will then turn towards your breast. When feeding, your baby will cover your whole nipple and a large part of the surrounding area with her mouth. She will usually suck vigorously at first, this stimulates your breast and milk will begin to stream into it. Talk and smile to your baby while you are breastfeeding, this will help to strengthen the bond between both of you. Your baby will usually let go of your breast when she has had enough. If she does not let go, she may still be hungry or she may simply want to lie and cuddle with you. Don't tear your breast away from your baby. Instead, coax a finger into the corner of her mouth and she will loosen her grip. If you're not sure whether she has had enough milk, you can continue feeding her from your other breast. Some babies will swallow a lot of air during breastfeeding and therefore need to burp after the meal. After feeding, you should always hold your baby up to your shoulder so that she can burp.