Some aspects of breast-feeding may come naturally. But learning some breast-feeding skills and techniques can help you be more successful. Before
your baby is born, take classes, read books, and watch videos that demonstrate
If you have concerns about your ability to
breast-feed, talk to a lactation consultant while you are pregnant. After your
baby is born, it is helpful to have one-on-one instruction with a lactation
specialist or other knowledgeable health professional.
Did You Know?
Under the Affordable Care Act, many health insurance plans will provide free children’s preventive care services, including checkups, vaccinations and screening tests. Learn more.
Breast-feeding may go
more smoothly in the first days and weeks if you and your baby are
relaxed and comfortable.
Make sure the room is
quiet and warm and that you are able to relax. Keep the room darkened. Bright light makes it
difficult for newborns to open their eyes.
Keep something to drink nearby.
Most women get thirsty as they breast-feed. Drink enough to satisfy your
Use one or more pillows to support your arms
and the baby, support your back with a pillow, and use a stool to raise your feet. This will help you and your baby be more comfortable during
Do not bend over your baby when breast-feeding.
Bring the baby to you—not you to the baby. Bending toward the baby can lead to back and neck
Find a position that is comfortable
for both you and your baby. For all positions, make sure the baby's head and
chest are lined up straight and not turned to one side or tilted
up or down while breast-feeding.
Wake up baby
Having an alert baby will make it easier to get your baby to latch on. To wake your baby you can:
Cool your baby off by taking off his or her clothes. Have skin-to-skin contact with your baby as you place him or her for feeding. Keep a light-weight blanket nearby.
Tickle your baby lightly wherever you get a reaction (on the feet, neck, top of the head, or stomach).