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Breastfeeding is a skill that is partly instinctive and partly learnt; there are lots of different positions for breastfeeding. You just need to check the following points no matter which position you choose to feed in.
|Going well if:||Talk to your midwife:|
|Your baby has 8 feeds or more in 24 hours||Your baby is sleepy & has had less than 6 feeds in 24 hours|
|Your baby is feeding for between 5 and 30 minutes at each feed||Your baby consistently feeds for 5 minutes or less at each feed|
|Your baby consistently feeds for longer than 40 minutes at each feed|
|Your baby always falls asleep on the breast &/0r never finishes the feed himself|
|Your baby has normal skin colour||Your baby appears jaundice (yellow discoloration of the skin)|
|Your baby is generally calm and relaxed whilst feeding and is content after most feeds||Your baby comes on and off the breast frequently during the feed or refuses to breastfeed|
|Your baby has wet & dirty nappies (see chart below)||Your baby is not having the wet & dirty nappies explained below|
|Breastfeeding is comfortable||You are having pain in your breasts or nipples, which doesn’t disappear after the baby’s first few sucks. Your nipples come out of the baby’s mouth looking pinched or flattened on one side|
|When your baby is 3-4 days old & beyond you should be able to hear your baby swallowing frequently during the feed||You cannot tell if your baby is swallowing any milk when you baby is 3-4 days old and beyond|
|You think your baby needs a dummy|
|You feel you need to give your baby formula milk|
Most jaundice in babies is not harmful; however, it is important to check your baby for any signs of yellow colouring particularly during the first week of life. The yellow colour will usually appear around the face and forehead first, then spread to the body, arms and legs. A good time to check is when you are changing a nappy or clothes. From time to time press your baby’s skin gently to see if you can see a yellow tinge developing. Also check the whites of your baby’s eyes when they are open and the inside of his/her mouth when open to see if the sides, gums or roof of the mouth looks yellow.
The content of you baby's nappies will change during the first weeks. These changes will help you know if feeding is going well. Speak to your midwife if you have any concerns.
|Wet nappies||Dirty nappies|
|1-2 days old||1-2 or more per day, urates may be present*||1 or more darkgreen/black 'tar like', called 'meconium'|
|3-4 days old||3 or more per day, nappies feeling heavier||2 or more, changing in colour & consistency - brown/green/yellow, becoming looser, called 'changing stools'|
|5-6 days old||5 or more, heavy wet**||2 or more yellow; may be quite watery|
|7-29 days old||6 or more, heavy wet||2 or more at least the size of a £2 coin yellow and watery, 'seedy' appearance.|
* Urates are dark pink/red substances that many babies pass in the first couple of days. At this age they are not a problem, however if they go beyond the first couple of days you should tell your midwife as that may be a sign that your baby is not getting enough milk
* * With new disposable nappies it is often hard to tell if they are wet, so to get an idea if there is enough urine, take a nappy and add 2-4 tablespoons of water. This will give you an idea of what to look/feel for.
Adapted from UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative 2008.
If breastfeeding feels a bit awkward at first, don’t worry. You and your baby may just need a little more practice. Breastfeeding is a skill that you and your baby learn together, and it can take time to get used to.