The most important technique for painless breastfeeding requires a proper latch-on position of the baby to the mother’s breast. The baby’s mouth should open sufficiently, forming an O shape. The baby’s mouth should cover most of the areola (brown ring on the mother’s breast). If the baby is not opening the mouth wide to cover the areola and only sucks on the nipple, he/she won’t be getting sufficient milk. The mother will experience sore or damaged nipples, which are quite painful.
A helpful tip for breastfeeding premature babies is to place the mother’s thumb in the baby’s mouth to increase the size of the O shape. Some premature babies do not have a strong suck and may require a supplemental nutrition system to supply a double amount of breastmilk in one feeding. This technique of feeding is also helpful for mothers of multiple births. It conserves the energy of the baby and the mother.
Another technique for mothers of multiple births is to breastfeed two babies at the same time, using the football hold under each baby’s head with the legs at her sides. This tip is great for conserving the mother’s time.
Another important technique to accomplish painless breastfeeding is use of nipple shields if the mother has some nipple damage or soreness.
Even experienced mothers, who know many techniques, can have medical or surgical conditions or babies that require help from a certified breastfeeding specialist.
The best tip for improving the breastfeeding experience is for pregnant women to have a breast evaluation at the 34 th week of gestation from a certified breastfeeding specialist to determine if a medical or surgical condition will affect her milk production and ejection. She will be better prepared with successful techniques for the birth of her baby.