Your bare chest is the best place for your baby to adjust to life outside the womb.

 

Try breastfeeding immediately after birth. Your baby is awake and ready to learn how to breastfeed during this time. Breastfeeding early will also help you to make more milk.

The first hours of snuggling skin-to-skin help you and your baby bond and get to know each other.

Most babies will breastfeed at least 8 times in 24 hours (day and night).

If you experience difficulty with breastfeeding, visit a free breastfeeding clinic.

The first hours of snuggling skin-to-skin help you and your baby bond and get to know each other. Hold your baby belly-down on your chest or tummy immediately after birth. Keep cuddling skin-to-skin as often as possible in the months after birth. The benefits for bonding and breastfeeding continue long after that. Safe skin-to-skin is also better for babies born prematurely or by Caesarean birth.

Safe Skin-to-Skin is Easy. Here’s How:

  • Take off your baby’s blankets and clothing. Leave diaper on
  • Move clothing away from your chest and tummy
  • Hold your baby, facing you, against your chest or tummy
  • You can put a blanket over you and your baby
  • Enjoy the closeness and bonding with your baby
  • If you haven’t held your baby skin-to-skin yet, start now! It’s not too late

Benefits of Holding Your Baby Skin-to-Skin

Babies:

  • Breastfeed better
  • Cry less and are calmer
  • Stay warmer
  • Enjoy more comfort from you
  • Have better blood sugar levels
  • Are protected by some of your good bacteria

Mothers

  • Breastfeed more easily
  • Learn when your baby is getting hungry
  • Bond more with your baby
  • Gain confidence and satisfaction caring for your baby

Breastfeeding

  • Your baby is more likely to have a successful first breastfeed
  • Your baby may breastfeed sooner and longer
  • You will make more breast milk
  • Helps your baby breastfeed when sleepy

Family and Skin-to-Skin

  • Your family members can also spend skin-to-skin time with your baby. If you have a partner, plan safe skin-to-skin time together with your baby. It’s a great way for you and your partner to spend time together and bond with your baby.

Safe Sleep

Babies under six months old should be placed on their back in a crib or cradle close to your bed when you are ready to sleep. It is important that cribs and cradles meet current Canadian safety regulations. Learn more about safe sleep for your baby.

 

Reproduced with permission from the Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Health and Perinatal Services BC

Baby-led latching is a natural and simple way for your baby to get to your breast.

Baby-led latching can be encouraged after your baby is born. It is helpful when your:

  • Baby is learning to breastfeed
  • Baby is not breastfeeding well
  • Nipples are sore/painful

Here ‘s How 

woman holding baby on upper chest and between breasts
  • Start when your baby is calm.
  • Sit comfortably and lean back a little.
  • Hold your baby skin-to-skin (tummy to tummy) on your upper chest and between your breasts

 

woman providing back and neck support as the baby move towards her breast
  • Your baby will start moving her head up and down looking for your breast (this may look like bobbing or pecking)
  • Support your baby’s neck, shoulders, and bottom with your arm and hand while she moves towards your breast

 

baby latch on woman's breast
  • Your baby will:
    1. move towards your breast
    2. find your nipple
    3. push her chin into your breast
    4. reach up with an open mouth
    5. latch onto your breast
  • It may help to bring your baby’s bottom close to your body and/or give support to your baby’s back and shoulders
  • Once your baby is latched, you and your baby can find a comfortable position

Having a good latch will help you make enough breast milk and help your baby to breastfeed well. It will also help prevent pain when breastfeeding.

woman sitting on a sofa breastfeeding her baby

Step 1

Get comfortable and find a breastfeeding position that works well for you.

 

using hand to hold breast with thumb on top and fingers are below

Step 2

Hold your breast in your hand. Thumb is on top and fingers are below your breast.

 

hand holding breast and baby nose facing the nipple

Step 3

Face your baby’s nose to your nipple. Stroke your baby’s lower lip with your nipple. Wait until baby’s mouth is wide open like a yawn.

hand holding breast and baby latching on breast

Step 4

Bring your baby, chin first to your breast. Her mouth should cover lots of the dark area (areola) below the nipple (about 1.5 inches).

Tips

woman tickling baby feet

If your baby falls asleep after a few minutes:

  • Squeeze your breast to help the breast milk flow. Do not squeeze so hard that it hurts
  • Take your baby’s clothes off or change her diaper
  • Gently massage your baby’s back, feet, or hands

 

slipping baby finger into the corner of baby's mouth

If your baby falls asleep after a few minutes:

  • Squeeze your breast to help the breast milk flow. Do not squeeze so hard that it hurts.
  • Take your baby’s clothes off or change her diaper. Gently massage your baby’s back, feet, or hands.

 

hand holding breast squeeze breast gently to encourage baby sucking

If your baby no longer has strong “deep and slow” sucks and your breast feels softer:

  • Offer the second breast.
  • your baby may only breastfeed a short time on the second breast.
  • At next breastfeeding, offer the breast that feels that fullest.

 

 

Video: Latching Your Baby(Transcripts) Reproduced with permission from the Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Health and Perinatal Services BC

There are many different positions for breastfeeding. Try different breastfeeding positions. Choose a breastfeeding position that allows you to be relaxed and comfortable.

Here are some breastfeeding position that may work for you and your baby.

woman using cross candle hold to breastfeed baby

Cross Cradle Position

This position works well if you:

  • are learning to breastfeed
  • have a small baby

 

woman breastfeeding baby in cradle position

Cradle Position

This position works well:

  • after you are comfortable with breastfeeding

 

woman breastfeeding baby in football position

Football Position

This position works well if you:

  • are learning to breastfeed
  • have difficulty maintaining a latch
  • have a small baby
  • have large breast
  • have flat or sore nipples
  • have a Caesarean birth

 

woman breastfeeding baby in side lying position

Side-Lying Position

This position works well if you:

  • find it too painful to sit
  • want to rest when you breastfeed
  • have a large breast
  • had a Caesarean birth

 

 

Video: Breastfeeding Position (Transcripts) Reproduced with permission from the Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Health and Perinatal Services BC

It is possible to learn to breastfeed two babies at one time. This will take some time and patience to lean.

Double Football Hold

This position works well if:

  • you are learning to breastfeed
  • you have small or premature babies
  • you have large breasts
  • you had a Caesarean birth

 

woman holding 2 babies one in cradle and one in football hold

Combination Cradle/Football Hold

This position works well if:

  • one or both babies have difficulty latching on

 

woman holding 2 babies in cradle position

Criss-Cross or Double-Cradle Hold

This position works well if:

  • you are comfortable with breastfeeding
  • your babies are latching well
  • your babies are alert and awake

 

woman holding 2 babies one parallel at the other

Parallel Hold

This position works well if:

  • one or both babies have difficulty latching on

 

Woman holding 2 babies like a shape of V

V-Hold (A Variation of the Double-Cradle Hold)

This position works well for:

  • nighttime feedings

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