Lightly touch the middle of your
baby's lower lip with your nipple until the baby opens his or her mouth. The
baby's mouth needs to be wide open, like a yawn, before attempting to
Support and narrow your breast with one hand. This will help you control your breast as you bring your baby onto your breast.
Bring the baby quickly onto the nipple
and the areola (the dark circle around the nipple), so it goes deep into your
baby's mouth. If
the baby does not immediately get the idea to suck, squeeze a little milk into
his or her mouth.
for a regular sucking and swallowing pattern while the baby is feeding. If you
cannot see or hear a swallowing pattern, watch the baby's ears, which may
wiggle slightly when the baby swallows.
If the baby's nose appears
to be blocked by your breast, reposition him or her by raising the baby's hips
or relaxing the baby's head back slightly, so just the edge of one nostril is
clear for breathing.
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 the infant sucks more slowly, pulls off,
or loses interest. Usually the baby will continue breast-feeding, though
perhaps for less time than on the first breast.
Anytime you need to
remove your baby from the breast, put one finger into the corner of his or her
mouth and push your finger between your baby's gums to gently break the seal.
If you do not break the tight seal before you remove the baby from your breast,
your nipples can become sore, cracked, or bruised.
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.
When your baby is satisfied, gently
pat his or her 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.
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
April 03, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this