Getting Started with Breastfeeding
It is advised to start breastfeeding as soon as possible. When the baby is given to you at birth, hold him close in skin to skin contact, ideally for at least an hour after the birth or until baby shows signs of readiness to feed. Your chest will keep your baby warm and the midwife will cover your baby's back with a towel or blanket.
When you feel ready, and the baby is giving cues that he wants to breastfeed, put him to your breast. The closeness of your baby near your breast and nipple will cause your body to release the hormone oxytocin which causes milk to be released from your breast. This is also called the 'let down reflex'.
The other breastfeeding hormone is called prolactin and this is often called the 'milk making hormone'. Hold your baby close, supported and facing the breast. Your midwife is there to support and assist you to correctly position and attach your baby to your breast. There are many different positions that mothers use when breastfeeding their babies, these include laid back feeding, cross cradle, cradle hold, football hold and side lying position. Click here for more latching help to position and attach your baby to the breast.
For more breastfeeding support and advice, visit breastfeeding.ie to talk to an expert.