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How do I breastfeed?

Want to know how to breastfeed?

Start breastfeeding as soon as possible after the birth of your baby. Feed your baby often when they’re hungry – not according to a schedule. Begin with Skin-to-Skin and have your baby room in with you 24/7.

Babies will breastfeed at least 8 times in 24 hours. It’s important to watch for your babies’ cues that they are hungry. Some early cues are stirring, hand to mouth movements, turning head from side to side, sucking or cooing noises. If these cues are missed late cues can be crying and agitated or frustrated body movements. At this point calm your baby by cuddling, skin-to-skin contact and other soothing techniques before you feed your baby. It is a lot easier to do and learn something new when you are calm! Here are some pictures of the baby cues.

How to know if you have a good latch

  • You feel comfortable.
  • Your baby’s mouth is wide open with flared lips.
  • When your baby is finished feeding, your nipples have a normal round shape and do not look pinched.
  • Watch this video: Latching your baby

How to tell if your baby is getting milk

  • You can hear swallowing.
  • You can see your baby’s ear or temple moving while they suck.
  • Your breasts may feel softer after a feeding.
  • Your baby is content after the feeding.
  • Your baby has plenty of wet and dirty diapers.

These are only the basics of breastfeeding. Please take the time to read this book for more information. Our frequently asked questions page may also give you the answers you need. We encourage you to contact us prenatally to find out more by speaking with a nurse at 1-866-747-4305.

Remember breastfeeding is a new skill for you and your baby. We have services to support you.

Skin-to-skin

Hold your baby skin-to-skin (your baby in a diaper on mom’s bare chest) as soon as possible after birth and often to:

  • stabilize their heart rate, breathing and blood sugar,
  • keep your baby warm,
  • promote bonding between you and your baby,
  • calm or soothe your baby.
  • watch this video to learn more about the importance of skin-to-skin contact 

Your partner, or another person you are close to can do Skin-to-Skin. It is great for premature babies. Also, keep doing it as your baby gets older.

Breastfeeding positions

Trying different breastfeeding positions, and changing positions when you need to, can help make the whole process easier and more successful. Here is a video to help you learn about breastfeeding positions.

How do I hand express my breastmilk?

Hand expression is important because it can help to express a few drops of breastmillk to get your baby interesting in breastfeeding, soften your breasts if you are feeling engorged and to express milk if you are going to be away from your baby. Please watch this video on hand expressing breastmilk.