Getting breastfeeding off to a good start
Lots of skin to skin
- Starting at birth and then just keep doing it.
- Both you and your baby will love it and there is lots of evidence that skin to skin will help both of you recover from the birth, and your baby will learn how to breastfeed more easily.
Your midwife will discuss skin to skin with you during the pregnancy and when you are in labour. If your baby goes to Special Care, staff will help you put the baby skin to skin as soon as your baby is well enough. You will really enjoy this, and even if your baby is not well enough to breastfeed, having your baby so close will help increase your milk supply.
Learn how to hand express
- Start trying before your baby arrives. Some babies are quite sleepy for the first day after birth and if you know how to hand express, and have practiced the technique, you will be able to hand express colostrum directly onto your baby’s lips on the first day until your baby wakes up and is ready to feed.
- There is literature available on hand expressing. Your midwife will discuss hand expressing with you during your pregnancy and on the post natal ward.
- If your baby goes to Special Care. Still start hand expressing as soon as you can, do not worry if you do not see any milk at first, just keep trying, it will come. The special care staff, midwives and maternity support workers will help you with this.