The most important aspect of breastfeeding is correct attachment and position; any complications that may arise in breastfeeding are as a result of bad attachment and position. Basic rules to follow while Breast feeding are:
A mother with a flat or inverted nipple has to work a little hard while latching the baby, pulling out the nipple in a tea-cup hold and offering it to the baby can be helpful, nipple puller can be used to pull the nipple out, however when milk starts to flow the nipple softens and the baby looses grip. A nipple shield is recommended for such a situation.
In the case of a NICU admission, the mother needs to constantly stimulate the breast and express milk manually or by using a breast pump. It is important that the demand is put on the breast even if the mother is not making any milk, manually expressing or pumping is a way to communicate to the body to produce milk. Information on rental pumps is available at the nursing station.
Dehydration can be avoided if the baby is fed every two hours, if the baby refuses to latch after a two hours break, it is necessary to give expressed breast milk with a spoon for the first two weeks.
Feeding schedule for the infant is 15 minutes of active sucking on each breast whenever the baby demands, i.e., a minimum of half hour gap or maximum of two and half hour gap. A different feeding schedule will be given at your lactation consultant appointment after a week.