First and foremost, you need to be sitting comfortably in a quiet place. When you are ready, bring your baby to you, with her tummy against yours. It is important that your baby's head is tilted just slightly backwards so that her chin touches your breast and her nose is clear of your nipple.
There is no reason to give your baby anything other than your milk initially unless your healthcare personnel or doctor has advised you otherwise. All healthy newborn babies can derive sufficient nutrition from the milk you produce if you give your baby all the opportunities she needs to feed.
You should allow your baby to feed on demand, since children have other feeding habits than your own. Some feed quickly, while others take their time. Therefore, it is important that you allow your baby to determine the length of her meal. She should be allowed enough time to release your breast on her own.
It's well worth trying out different breastfeeding positions, especially at the beginning when you spend many hours feeding your baby. In this way, you'll avoid a lot of stress, which at worst could cause your milk to flow at a slower rate, and your baby to not want to feed as long as necessary.
Allow your nipples to dry naturally after feeding. Avoid drying off milk and your baby's saliva, as doing so may irritate your nipples. If your breasts are very sore, it may help to massage them or apply nipple cream to relieve the discomfort.
Breastfeeding at night helps relieve you of the milk you have produced during the day, and allows you to produce new milk while you sleep. A bedtime feed thus helps to regulate your milk production, and continue the breastfeeding process.
It's best to wait until breastfeeding is functioning well and your baby is good at taking your breast every time before introducing a soother. The suckling action a baby uses at your breast is very different to that used on a soother.
It is certainly worth buying a nursing which provides good support and can be opened at the front so you have easy eaccess to your breast. See the Cantaloop nursing bras.
To prevent infection from leakages you should change your bra at least every 12 to 24 hours and follow the manufacturer's washing instructions. It is generally recommended that a minimum of three bras are necessary - one on, one off and one in the wash. But remember, you can't always get the washing done as quickly as before because you have a new baby and rest is valuable!
It's essential you eat a healthy varied diet when breastfeeding as everything you eat is transmitted via your milk to your baby. You need extra energy. Therefore make sure you get enough vitamins to cover the nutritional needs of you and your baby.
You need more liquids when you are breastfeeding as your baby will drink around one litre of milk per day. In principle, what you drink is irrelevant. You should, however, try to avoid diuretic drinks such as coffee and tea, which can reduce milk production. It is a good idea to have fluids close at hand when you are breastfeeding as it often gives acute thirst!