Have questions or need help with breastfeeding?
For a free consultation with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant,
please call (406) 238-5083 to schedule an appointment or walk-in.
Lactation office hours are 8 am- 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. After hours,
please call the Health Line at (800) 252-1246.
Quick Breastfeeding Tips
Breastfeeding can be so beneficial to both you and your baby! It can help decrease the risk of Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) and provide important anti-bodies and nutrients to your baby! It will also decrease mom's risk of heart disease and breast/ovarian cancer.
One of the most important things about breastfeeding is the deep latch!
Start with baby's nose at nipple level
When they open their mouth wide, help bring their chin in first and then push your nipple into their mouth
Make sure you get enough of your breast into their mouth (so they can get enough milk and it will be more comfortable for you!)
You will know they have a nice latch if you see their jaw moving, you feel a slight pulling or tugging, and their mouth is open wide with a flange of the lips
Feed baby for as long as they are actively sucking
Breastfed babies might not always need to burp following a feeding
How Many Feedings?
During the first weeks, you will not set a strict schedule for feeding. Just feed baby when they are hungry!
You will feed roughly 8 - 12 times during a 24 hour period.
If your baby is not feeding at least 8 times or not showing signs of wanting to feed speak with your physician or a lactation consultant!
Spotting baby's early signs of hunger can be important! here are some cues for you to look for:
Rooting Reflex (turning head looking for a breast)
Bringing hands to mouth
Leg kicks or arm flailing
Try to spot these cues and begin feeding before she gets too upset (it might be more difficult for her to calm down and latch if she is crying too hard)
Supply & Demand
You might be worried about not making enough milk for your infant.
But a good tip to remember is that if your breasts are empty then your brain will send signals to make more milk. If your breasts are already full, your brain will tell the production of milk to stop.
Talk with your physician or a lactation consultant if you are worried you are not making enough milk or before trying any type of medication or supplement.
Let your partner try skin-to-skin as well!
Skin to skin time is so important for you and your baby - especially during the first weeks of life! Skin to skin is where you will position baby (in just their diaper) on your chest (without a shirt) and hold them close. This will help keep baby comfortable and warm as well as form a close emotional bond between you both.
Increasing your skin-to-skin time can actually help promote a positive breastfeeding experience for both you and your baby! During skin-to-skin baby is close and you will be able to recognize the early signs of hunger.
Skin-to-skin can also help increase baby's brain and emotional development later in life!
To ensure you do not cause harm or injury to your own body while breastfeeding, try these tips for positioning!
-Make sure you are in a comfortable position before starting. Use pillows to position and prop your baby, your arms, and your neck.
-Make sure your baby is positioned close and at nipple height, with their chin on the breast, so they do not have to strain. This will make it easier for them and you.
-Support your breast to increase comfort for you and ease for your baby to latch.
If you do not feel comfortable or feel like you are straining your muscles - reposition!