Breast-Feeding - How to Breast-Feed
When your baby is done breast-feeding, you can break the latch by using your pinky finger. Place one finger into the corner of your baby's mouth. This will gently break the seal. You can also use your pinky to break the latch if you experience pain after your baby first latches on. Then you can start again.
If you don't break the latch before you remove the baby from your breast, your nipples may become sore, cracked, or bruised.
Provide a complete feeding
Let your baby feed until he or she is satisfied.
- Offer the other breast when the first breast feels empty and your baby sucks more slowly, pulls off, or loses interest. Usually your baby will continue breast-feeding but for less time than on the first breast.
- To burp your baby, gently
pat your baby's back to help him or her let out any swallowed air. After the
baby burps, offer the breast again. Sometimes a baby will want to continue
feeding after being burped.
- If your baby falls asleep
before finishing breast-feeding, you may need to stimulate him or her to finish
the feeding. After
a while, you will learn your baby's patterns and will know whether he or she
needs rousing or has fed long enough.
To learn more about babies' feeding patterns, see Feeding and Diapering Habits.
The first two weeks of breast-feeding usually are the most challenging. You may have other times when you need extra help. Know who you can contact, such as friends and family who have breast-fed or a lactation consultant. Other support is available through local hospitals or clinics and support organizations, such as La Leche League. For more information, see the Other Places to Get Help section of this topic.