Thu, 04/24/2014 – 1:01 | No Comment

In this issue of Attached Family, we take a look at the cultural explosion of breastfeeding advocacy, as well as the challenges still to overcome. API writer Sheena Sommers begins this issue with “The Real Breastfeeding Story,” including …

Read the full story »
1. Pregnancy & Birth

Fertility and conception, pregnancy, childbirth, and the early postpartum period.

2. The Infant

From newborn to 17 months.

3. The Toddler

From 18 months to age 3.

4. The Growing Child

From age 4 to age 9.

5. The Adolescent

From age 10 to age 18.

Home » 2. The Infant

Trust Your Baby to Show You When to Breastfeed

Submitted by on Tuesday, July 21 20092 Comments

By Jack Newman, M.D. & Teresa Pitman, reprinted with permission from The Latch and Other Keys to Breastfeeding Success

Trust your baby for breastfeeding successBabies are born with the skills and instincts to help them breastfeed, but we often ignore the messages and cues they are sending us. It is much easier for your baby to latch if your baby is calm yet ready to nurse. The entire process becomes far more difficult when the baby is upset, exhausted from crying, overly hungry, or not hungry at all, so it is valuable to tune into your baby’s cues and internal rhythms so that breastfeeding happens when the baby is ready.

Learn to recognize your baby’s early signs of hunger:

  • If you are holding the baby skin-to-skin, your baby may move towards the breast on her own. Even without the skin-to-skin component, if you are holding the baby upright against your chest, he will signal his interest in feeding by shifting to one side and moving down your body into position to breastfeed. Some babies will almost throw themselves to the side in an attempt to get into position.
  • If your baby is sleeping in a separate bassinet or incubator, he may show his desire to nurse by smacking his lips and sticking his tongue out repeatedly, putting his fists to his mouth, sucking on his fingers or the blanket, and other sometimes subtle behaviors. Watch your baby and get to know his early cues.
  • If you are not sure if your baby really wants to breastfeed, try it and see. If your baby really doesn’t want to eat, he won’t.

Waiting until the baby is crying is not helpful, as it makes learning to latch more difficult. On the other hand, by paying attention to your baby’s behaviors, you truly will become the expert in caring for your baby. Watching your baby’s cues will allow you to feed with love and respect, and increase your confidence as well.

2 Comments »

  • one brain says:

    Please note that the picture is not an ideal picture for a first feeding. Many mothers do better when holding their breast in a “C” hold (4 fingers on bottom, thumb on top) than this scissors hold as shown in the picture. Also make sure the baby has a big open mouth when latching on. For more breastfeeding information or support, contact La Leche League, a non-profit group dedicated to helping mothers through breastfeeding.

  • [...] Trust Your Baby to Show You When to Breastfeed from The Attached Family [...]

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.