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The baby is often placed on the breast just minutes after childbirth. Still, it takes a few days for milk production to start, which the child is prepared for.


Most pregnant women have no benefit or need to do something special during pregnancy to prepare for breastfeeding. It is an old myth that it is an advantage to "harden" the nipples during pregnancy. In the worst case, you get ulcers on your nipples before you start breastfeeding.


By consulting relatives and friends, you can get good advice that can help to get breastfeeding up and running as well as possible. The breastfeeding service has good information and there are also volunteers who answer questions over the phone. Anyone who wants can be anonymous.

The first breastfeeding

The baby is often placed on the breast just minutes after childbirth. Still, it takes a few days for milk production to start, which the child is prepared for. It carries with it nutrients from the time in the uterus which is utilized before it receives enough nutrition from the breast milk. The child also needs some time before understanding how it should suck for breastfeeding to be effective. The first milk that the mother produces during the first 72 hours after birth is called colostrum or colostrum and it is extra nutritious and valuable for the newborn baby.
Beginning to breastfeed as early as possible after delivery also causes the uterus to contract, thus stopping the bleeding in the uterus more quickly.

Breastfeeding Techniques

Many of the problems that can occur with breastfeeding - such as sore nipples, insufficient milk, feelings of discomfort associated with breastfeeding - can often be avoided or solved through proper techniques. It is about finding the right breastfeeding position, that the baby has the right position, that the breast is in the right way, that the child has the right suction and breathing technique during breastfeeding, to give the breast support and to end breastfeeding as gently as possible.

  • Breastfeeding posture: Whether you choose to breastfeed lying on the side of the bed or sit up in a chair, it is important to have a good breastfeeding posture. With the help of pillows or nursing pillows, neither mother nor child need to exert themselves during breastfeeding.
  • The child's position: Especially early in the child's life, skin-to-skin contact can feel secure, so that the child may wear little or no clothes during breastfeeding. The baby should lie as straight as possible so that it does not have to twist to reach the nipple. You can experiment a bit with different postures, especially children who are premature (but also many others) may have difficulty attaching to the breast, which may correct a new placement of the baby during breastfeeding.
  • Presenting the breast: You can squeeze out a few drops of milk to moisturize the nipple before holding it to the baby. By supporting the breasts with the hand, you get relief and make sure that the weight of the breast does not become a burden to the child. As the child grows older, this becomes less and less important.
  • Suction and breathing techniques: The baby's lips can be easily touched with the milky wet nipple if the baby does not spontaneously start eating. When the child opens his mouth to take the nipple, the baby is pressed a little closer so that the child's lips enclose the dark area around the nipple (areola), and not just the nipple itself. It is important for the baby to suck on the area around the nipple, not just on the nipple itself. If only the nipple is enclosed in the baby's mouth, the breasts quickly become sore.
  • Conclusion: You should avoid pulling the nipple while the baby is still sucking. Instead, you can insert a finger into the baby's mouth so that the pressure ceases, before the nipple is pulled out. This is to avoid extra strain and soreness on the breasts.

Milk production

The breasts get bigger during pregnancy, this is because the milk glands that produce the milk grow. Breast size before pregnancy is first and foremost determined by adipose tissue and not by milk-producing tissue. Mothers with small breasts therefore do not produce less milk than women with large breasts. The more often the baby breastfeeds - if performed properly, the more milk the breasts will produce. As long as the baby grows normally, there is no need to worry about having enough milk.

It is recommended that the newborn baby should not be fed with a bottle, as it gets used to it and breastfeeding will start later. This recommendation has probably been exaggerated. It has happened that barely a week-old children have become starved and dried up because they have not received any fluid at all when the parents avoided bottle feeding.

Breastfeeding tea containing fennel has been said to have milk-stimulating properties. However, the National Food Agency discourages breastfeeding women from such tea because it contains a weak carcinogen (estragol).

Milking and breast inflammation

It is not uncommon for milk to stop. This is noticed by the fact that small sore tubers that may be red appear. Usually this is due to milk residue or other stuff that closes to the milk aisles. If this is not corrected, it can lead to breast inflammation. The best way to correct this is to increase the throughput in the milk channels. It can be done in different ways, for example you can try breastfeeding more often. Then start by giving milk from the breast with the milk stock. If the baby does not empty the breast, pump out the last remainder. Make sure that there is no pressure on the breast so that the milk passages are squeezed together, for example because the bra is too tight. Do not stop breastfeeding during this period, as it can aggravate the problems.

One action that is often effective is to put a warm, damp towel around the chest. Wrap a heat bottle in the wet towel so that the heat stays longer. The heat leads to increased blood flow in the area, and that the milk passages may expand slightly. A hot shower where the breasts are massaged can also be effective.

Sometimes the child may refuse to suck on the tender breast. The milk can simply get a little sour because of the clogged milk passages. Then pump out of this breast and empty it as well as possible. Continue to pump the breast until the problem resolves, and the baby again breastfeeds from the problematic breast.

Health care should be contacted if developing pain from the breast develops, fever, chills or sweating, increasing swelling or redness of the chest. Antibiotics may then be necessary to cause the infection to pass. It is good to still breastfeed as much as possible with the inflamed breast, and preferably to pump out of the breast to make it heal as quickly as possible. The same applies to the use of warm covers and hot showers, preferably more than four times a day. In some cases, it may develop a so-called sternum that may need to be emptied. In such cases, it is natural to end breastfeeding from the affected breast. Still, it is important to pump out the breast so that breastfeeding can resume when symptoms recede.

Sore nipples

Wounded or sore nipples should be ventilated as much as practicable. Some have good help by drying the nipples with hair dryer (at the lowest strength) after breastfeeding. The breasts should also only be washed with water, not with soap or alcohol-based wipes. Some non-perfumed creams can be used if there is a pronounced cracking of the nipples. Cosmetic and perfumed products should be avoided.

Positive effects of breastfeeding

With the exception of Vitamin D, breast milk contains everything the child needs nutritionally to develop normally during the first six months. Breastfeeding also has a positive impact on the immune system, including the milk contains antibodies from the mother that protect the baby from infections. In addition, breastfeeding can affect the development and maturation of the child's own immune system and have other positive long-term effects on health. Breastfeeding can also have an impact on maternal health - among other things, there is strong evidence that breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer before menopause.

Whether breastfeeding protects children from developing allergies is a controversial issue. Several studies have shown that especially children of allergic parents get less trouble if they are breastfed, but there are also reports that say this.

Breast-fed children have a lower weight gain from 2–3 months of age and during the remainder of the first year of life than children who receive breast milk replacement. There is also evidence that breastfeeding reduces the risk of subsequent obesity.

Dad or partner and breastfeeding

It is important to remember that although breastfeeding is an exclusive privilege for the mother, the father or partner has an important supporting role. When the father or partner supports the mother, breastfeeding works better. His or her confidence in the woman's ability to breastfeed, his or her support and practical efforts will facilitate the possibility of breastfeeding.


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