Considerations for Breastfeeding

This section assumes a lactation consultant has been consulted, or a healthcare professional with breastfeeding knowledge is part of the interdisciplinary team whereever possible. The following strategies may assist when first introducing the infant to breastfeeding:

  • encourage skin to skin contact before and after feeding
  • if breastfeeding, consider having the parent partially express the breast to avoid strong let-down of milk whilst baby is nuzzling, licking or attached for short periods
  • allow infant to nuzzle at a partially expressed breast, and lick at the breast
  • facilitate latching by stimulating the rooting reflex, appropriate breastfeeding position and providing external support as necessary:
    • adjust the breastfeeding position to optimize the infant’s ability to adjust to the flow while maintaining a deep latch (laid-back nursing, transverse side-lying, or upright football position)
    • allow the infant to suck three to four times on nipple; if baby is demonstrating evidence of difficulty with suck-swallow-breathe, break the seal and give a rest from sucking; allow the child to breathe, reorganize and cue for readiness
    • consider removing infant from the breast during letdown if needed