As your postpartum doula I will always recommend seeing a licensed lactation consultant for your breastfeeding needs. While you're in my care I can guide you with basic breastfeeding techniques. The following is an overview of some of the basic breastfeeding techniques that may help you get started.
1. Breastfeeding is a learned behavior!
Yes mama, be forgiving of yourself when at first it doesn't go perfectly! It takes time for ALL mamas to learn how her body and her baby can work together. Giving yourself grace to learn is a mindset that will help you in those first few weeks and months.
2. Prepare your body
Drinking plenty of water, getting adequate nutrition and sleep will help keep your body ready and able to feed your baby.
3. Prepare your space
No matter where you feed your baby it's beneficial to plan ahead for what is needed. Many of these are not necessities, but are nice to have handy when nursing.
- a nursing bra (avoid bras with underwire)
- a burp cloth (this might not necessarily be for baby, but for you if you tend to leak before or after feeding)
- a water bottle for yourself (stay hydrated!)
- a healthy one handed snack for yourself (this could be fruit, veggies, nuts, etc)
- a nursing pillow (this might not always be handy if you're on the go, but having one can help in staying comfortable while nursing)
4. Positioning yourself and baby
There are many different positions you can try in order to be best and most comfortable for you and baby. Try them all till you find which one is best for you. One common position that is optimal for comfort for both mama and baby is when mama is leaning back while sitting on a comfortable chair or couch. Baby should be belly down when placed on your chest. Positioning of baby's face, head and body are important for the best latch.
Again at this point I recommend seeking professional support to help you get started on the right foot with good breastfeeding habits and tips.