Breast/chestfeeding is when parent decides to feed the baby from the breast or chest. The AAP believes breast/chestfeeding is the optimal source of nutrition through the first year of life. Breastfeeding can be easy to some new parents and incredibly stressful for others. There are many questions and concerns that come along with breast/chestfeeding.

How do I get baby to latch?

What are the different positions?

When should I pump?

During pregnancy or shortly after a parent gives birth, they will make the decision to breast/chestfeed, exclusively pump or bottle feed formula, or breastmilk. If the parent chooses to breast/chestfeed there are a lot of elements that go along with it. First, baby needs to properly latch. Breast/chestfeeding should never be painful for a parent. If the parent is experiencing pain, the latch should be the first thing that is adjusted or evaluated. Positioning between baby and parent may also need to be adjusted. The different positions parents can try are baby tummy to tummy or chest to chest, hips are flexed, shoulders and hips are aligned, baby’s arms and hands are around the breast/chest. This could be difficult at first and the parent may need to try different positions to find out what works best for baby and parent. There are many different holds a breast/chestfeeding parent can choose from. These positions include cradle hold, football hold, or using a nursing pillow.

The most important thing during breast/chestfeeding is that parent is comfortable and has everything within one arm/hand reach that they needs. This may include, an opened snack, a water bottle, a nipple shield, nipple cream, a burp cloth, footrest, and nursing pillow. It is also important to make sure baby is comfortable and can latch and eat properly. The parent should be relaxed and try not to stress.

New parents may also wonder when they need to pump between breastfeeding their newborns. Some people find they may never need to pump that they are able to exclusively breast/chestfeeding. Others who will be away from their baby for specific times will need some way to express milk and have a supply for baby at home.

If you are a breast/chestfeeding parent and run into issues or have questions a lactation professional is someone who specializes in breast/chestfeeding. A lactation consultant can be a great help with different situations.

To name a few:

–          If milk supply has not increased by day 4

–          Sore nipples

–          Cracked nipples

–          Baby isn’t feeding 8-12 times in a 24 hour period

–          Advice for working parents on how to continue to breastfeed when returning back to work.

If you have questions or concerns about breastfeeding, pumping or are interested in speaking to a lactation consultant you can receive more information through The Latch and Positioning Guide and The Breastmilk Storage and Handling course will provide you with more education on this topic.