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Top tips to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week

Updated: Apr 8, 2022

The theme of World Breastfeeding Week 2020 is 'Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet'. World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August all over the globe to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the globe. 🌎

Breastfeeding provides your baby with the nutrients they need to grow. Here is some helpful background to breastfeeding which some of our new parents might find useful. 😊

Establishing breastfeeding

Breastmilk is produced using a ‘demand and supply’ principle. The more your baby takes, the more breastmilk is produced. It’s normal for a newborn to feed at intervals of two to five hours and feeds may take between 45 minutes to an hour. In the early months your baby needs a minimum of 6-8 feeds in 24 hours. 🕔

Positioning and attachment

Good positioning and attachment is the key.

  • Position yourself comfortably with your back well-supported

  • Allow your breast to fall naturally

  • Unwrap your baby to allow easy handling and skin contact, and to avoid overheating

  • Ensure that you baby is well supported behind the neck and shoulders with your baby’s body facing you, with their body flexed and held close. Your baby should be able to reach your breast easily, without having to stretch or twist

  • Your baby’s head should be free with the top lip in line with the nipple

  • Your baby should be slightly lower than the breast with their lower arm brought around under your breast.

  • Your baby’s chin is touching or tucked into the breast

  • Support your breast using your free hand with fingers well back from the nipple/areola, aim your nipple towards your baby’s nose

  • A wide-open mouth is encouraged by allowing your baby to feel the underside of the nipple with the top lip.

  • As your baby’s mouth opens wide, bring your baby to your breast, aiming the nipple towards the roof of the mouth with the chin coming to the breast.

Signs of good attachment 

  1. Your baby’s mouth is wide open with the lower lip curled outward

  2. After an initial short burst of sucking, the rhythm should be slow and even with intermittent pauses and deep jaw movements

  3. A change in breast fullness indicates transfer of milk (breast emptied) in the early weeks

  4. You may hear your baby’s gulps at the start of breastfeeding as the let down of high volume milk is swallowed

Is breastfeeding painful? 😮

Increased nipple and areola sensitivity (discomfort) is normal while feeding is being established. Nipple sensitivity when you start a feed should ease after a minute or two if your baby is attached properly.

Constant discomfort can indicate that your baby is damaging the nipple. In this situation it is important to gently detach your baby from the breast and reattach. To detach baby, place your finger in the corner of your baby's mouth, and push down onto the breast to break the suction.  

How do I know if my baby is hungry?

  • Early hunger signs include your baby smacking or licking lips, opening and closing his/her mouth or sucking on lips, tongue, hands, fingers or fists

  • Active hunger signs include baby fussing or breathing fast, rooting around on the chest of whomever is carrying them; trying to position for breastfeeding by lying back, fidgeting or squirming a lot or clenching fingers or making a tight fist over the chest or tummy.

  • Late hunger signs include your baby crying and/or moving their head frantically from side to side.

How do I know if my baby is full? 

Some babies may detach from the breast abruptly and will quit feeding suddenly when full. For other babies, it can be a gradual process as their sucking becomes slower and slower until they are full.  Need some extra support? 💟 Parenting doesn't stop for a pandemic and neither do we! We're here for you - 7 days a week. If you are having breastfeeding difficulties, you can now self-refer to Tresillian services by calling our Parent’s Help Line on 1300 272 736. Call now to talk to one of our experienced nurses about which Tresillian service will best suit you. 😊

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