HOW TO BREASTFEED

One of your first tasks as a new mother will be to breastfeed your newborn.

As soon as you have given birth and you are back in your hospital room, a nurse will come to show you how to latch your baby onto your breast so that your baby can feed.

Now comes the tricky part for a new mom. I have the baby, I have the boob, now what??

Although breastfeeding is one of the most beautiful aspects of motherhood, it does not always come naturally and when faced with a crying newborn when you have only been a mother for 30 minutes, it can be a daunting task.

You may have seen some of the "breast crawl" videos where the newborn baby is placed on the mother's chest and the baby manages to crawl to the mothers breast, find the nipple and latch herself perfectly onto the nipple, with no assistance from the mother. While these videos are so gorgeous, this is not the experience for all mothers who start their breastfeeding journey.

I did not have the opportunity to do a breast crawl with my little girl and in stead, I was handed a hungry baby and had to figure out how to feed her.

Here is what I did:

1. I adjusted my hospital bed to a semi-upright position, basically as up right as my C-Section incision allowed without pain and discomfort.

2. I placed the feeding cushion (a normal pillow will do) across my lap and let my baby lie on it.

3. Next you obviously need to pop out a boob.

Now comes the tricky part for a new mom. I have the baby, I have the boob, now what??

4.Choose a position to hold your baby with one arm that is comfortable for you and baby, I chose the cradle hold, as it came naturally to me. This is basically where you let baby lie in the cradle of your arm, resting her head in the nook of your arm with your hand supporting her back.

5. Then you bring your baby to your breast, while holding the breast you want to offer with your other hand. Bring your baby's mouth to your nipple, holding the breast, run the nipple under baby's nose so that she can smell it (newborns rely on smell and your nipple smells like amniotic fluid). Your baby will then open her mouth, wait for her to open wide before popping your nipple into her mouth with a rolling action.

6. My baby's mouth was so tiny that the areola was too big to fit into her mouth without some assistance from me, so i took the areola between my forefinger and index-finger, holding the breast like a tennis ball in my hand, then lightly squeezed my forefinger and index-finger to form a little "burger patty" in the shape of my baby's mouth so that she could latch on and have it fit into her mouth better.

7. Her suck reflex was also not very strong, so I had to hold the breast in place for her while she drank.

The photo above is of our first latch in hospital, just after I returned to my room from recovery and she was given to me to breastfeed.