Breastfeeding - easy read
breast; breastfeeding; newborn; breastmilk; attach;
Breastfeeding is best for you and your baby, though it is skill we need to learn. Sometimes it can be hard to get started or keep going. It's important to get some help when you need it.
How breastfeeding works
Breastmilk is made in small sacs inside the breast. Muscles around the sacs squeeze the milk out. This is called the 'letdown'.
Your 'letdown' works best when you are feeling comfortable and relaxed.
Colostrum is the thick and yellow milk made soon after your baby is born. It helps baby's digestion and helps fight germs.
After a few days your milk looks thinner and paler. This is normal.
Breastfeeding a newborn
- In the first weeks baby will feed around 8-12 times a day.
- It is best to feed before baby is upset and crying.
- Let baby feed as long as they want to.
- Offer the other breast once they finish feeding at the first breast.
- The more often baby feeds, the more milk your breasts will make.
Signs your baby is hungry
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Getting baby onto the breast
- There are many ways baby can attach well. Newborn babies can often find the nipple and attach well by themselves with lots of skin to skin contact. Try unwrapping baby and placing them on your chest.
- You could also lay on your side or sit, as long as baby's chest and tummy face your chest and/or tummy.
- Older babies can attach more easily in a range of positions.
- Avoid using dummies and teats early on. They can affect how your breastfeeds and your milk supply.
Baby is attached well when:
- their chin touches the breast and their nose is clear
- they have a good mouthful of nipple and breast
- lips are flared out, not sucked in
- there is no pain (if it hurts, take baby off and try again).
As your milk lets down, sucking becomes more regular.
Signs your baby is getting enough milk
- 5 or more pale coloured wet nappies each day.
- Some weight gain over the month.
- Bright eyes, moist mouth and tongue.
How long to breastfeed
Breastmilk provides all the food your baby needs for the first 6 months. At around 6 months, babies need to start some solid foods as well. Breastmilk is still important up to 12 months and beyond.
Breastfeeding is a skill. It doesn't always go smoothly though most challenges can be overcome with some help.
For more information and support in South Australia
- Australian Breastfeeding Association's Mum2Mum Helpline
Tel: 1800 686 268
- Child and Family Health Service
Tel: 1300 733 606 for an appointment Mon-Fri 9am to 4.30pm
- Parent Helpline
Tel: 1300 364 100
The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor, or ring the Parent Helpline on 1300 364 100 (local call cost from anywhere in South Australia).
This topic may use 'he' and 'she' in turn - please change to suit your child's sex.