Successful Breastfeeding

Recognizing Successful Breastfeeding

Breastfeed for as long as your baby does effective feeding or nutritive suckling. Most newborns breastfeed 8-12 times in 24 hours for 20-40 minutes each feeding.

In successful feeding, YOU need to:

  • Hold you baby comfortably without straining your back, shoulders, arms or wrists: The use of pillows to bring your baby up to your breast level will prevent arm strain. Support your breast using the “C” hold during the entire feeding. If you have large breasts, use a rolled up cloth diaper under your breast for better breast support. A rolled-up towel under the arm or wrist that is supporting your baby’s head will help to prevent strain as well.
  • Maintain proper mouth position for your baby:Your baby will latch on with a wide open mouth surrounding your nipple and areola. His top and bottom lips are rolled outward, not under, and his
    nose is touching your breast.
  • Breastfeed comfortably:You will feel a tugging or drawing sensation on your nipple and areola. A feeding that is going well is not painful. If you feel pain, stop the feeding and start over.
  • See your baby’s jaw, temple and throat move: When your baby is feeding well, you can see his jaw move. You may also notice movement in his temple and in his throat.
  • Hear your baby swallowing: Your baby’s suckling maybe rapid at the beginning of his feeding, followed by gulps and short pauses. The suckling pattern should be repeated without constant stimulation.

In successful feeding, YOUR BABY will:

  • Relax as you continue feeding: Your baby’s body may be tense at the beginning of the feeding because he is hungry and eager to feed. As he feeds, he will become more relaxed. While feeding, your baby may fall asleep at your breast and/or release from your breast, letting you know that he is full.
  • Feel content rather than fussy and tense: Many newborns may wake when moved or placed on
    a cold crib sheet that does not smell or feel like mom. Try swaddling your baby and keeping him close. If your baby fusses frequently at the end of the feeding, call your lactation consultant.
  • Need plenty of diaper changes: After the fourth day, a baby who is feeding well will have at least 6 wet diapers and 3 small or 1 large stool in 24 hours. If his soiled diaper count is less than this, contact his pediatrician or your lactation consultant right away.
  • Sleepy Baby? Try some of these wake-up techniques if your baby needs to feed or falls asleep during the feeding:
    • Undress your baby to his diaper before feeding
    • Hold your baby skin to skin
    • Massage your baby, stroking from fingertips and toes towards chest
    • Walk your fingers up your baby’s spine
    • With a clean finger, stroke your baby’s cheeks, lips and mouth
    • Call your baby’s name. Sing and talk to him in a normal voice
    • Change your baby’s diaper
    • Wipe your baby’s face with a cool washcloth.
    • Do slow, gentle baby sit-ups

Continue Watching

Check-Up: Postpartum Depression is Not Your Fault (Meredith Sheldon, MA, LLPC)

Southwestern Medical Clinic counselor, Meredith Sheldon, talks about why women may experience postpartum depression and how treatment can help people cope.

Lakeland BirthPlace: Matt and Kristin Ross “A Wedding Day Delivery”

Kristin Ross was attending her sister's wedding when something unexpected happened: her water broke.

Provider Video Profile: Tatiyana Stankovic, NP (Plastic Surgery)

Tatiyana Stankovic, NP, cares for patients at Stonegate Plastic Surgery. She is trained in a wide spectrum of surgical and non-surgical procedures designed to enhance the face, body, breasts and skin.

Provider Video Profile: Sheena Lader, PA (Plastic Surgery)

Sheena Lader, PA, cares for patients at Stonegate Plastic Surgery. She is trained in a wide spectrum of surgical and non-surgical procedures designed to enhance the face, body, breasts and skin.

Planning Your Life Around the Restroom? Take Control!

Learn about the causes and symptoms of incontinence.

Check-Up: Causes of Incontinence (Vanessa Cool, PT)

Vanessa Cool shares how rehabilitation can be an effective treatment option for incontinence.

Think You Know All There is About Breast Cancer? (Benjamin Gielda, MD; Elizabeth Jeffers, MD)

Learn about the latest breakthrough technologies in breast cancer treatment.

Physician Video Profile: Joel Bez, DO (Pain Management)

Dr. Joel Bez is a pain management physician with Southern Michigan Pain Consultants in St. Joseph, MI.

Check-Up: Treating Pain Without Medication (Joel Bez, DO)

Joel Bez, DO, discusses the various ways a pain clinic can help with chronic pain, outside of prescribing medication.

Intraoperative Radiation Therapy: Kellie Tyler "Catching Cancer Early"

Breast cancer survivor, Kellie Tyler, shares her experience undergoing Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT) treatment.

© Spectrum Health Lakeland 2019