Having a hospital birth? Here are five recommendations to ensure your baby has a great initial feed
More hospitals are realizing the benefits of skin-to-skin. Yet in still, they weigh, do tests and give shots moments after baby arrives.
Allow the baby to lay on your bare chest for at least an hour or until the baby feeds, whichever comes first.
The Global Health Media Project has a lot of helpful breastfeeding videos for new and expecting moms. This one is about early initiation of breastfeeding...
and this one talks about how to get a good latch...
2. Do Not Wash Baby’s Hands
I’ve heard that the amniotic fluid on baby’s hands resembles the scent of our areola glands. Babies rely on this scent to find their food source - so remind your medical team to not wipe baby’s hands.
In my experience, our youngest (who was born at home) quickly found the breast and latched on.
3. Go At Baby’s Pace
Baby may not be ready immediately after birth to feed. Do not rush them.
One mom asked me, “what do I do, the baby is not latching on?” We aren’t the only ones working during labor. It is also tiresome for baby as they squeeze through the love tunnel (also known as the birth canal).
Neither of our girls nursed immediately after birth. Keep baby on your naked chest and they will attach when they are ready to feed.
4. Allow Baby To Latch Themselves
Babies were born to latch on. They know where the food is and how to attach to it.
Our responsibility is to ensure they have the most natural and peaceful birth so that they are alert and able to do what they were created to do.
5. Observe Baby Feed
Once baby has properly latched on, the hard work is expressing the milk. One way to help baby is to massage and knead the breast. This will make it easier for the milk to let down.
I would also be mindful that the breast isn’t cutting off their airways.
While their noses are designed to allow them to breathe while they nurse, sometimes our breastfeeding positions hinder that.
Always check, by listening to baby's breathing and gulps of milk to make sure they are comfortable. This is a great way to put your full attention on baby while they nurse.
That’s it. Have you completed your breastfeeding goals? Documenting your hopes can help you stay focused on your breastfeeding journey. Have more questions or need a breastfeeding coach? Book your appointment here.
Until next time.
More breastfeeding posts you may love….
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3 Ways Our Epidural Affected Our Baby's Latch
3 Ways Our Non-Medicated Birth Affected Our Baby's Latch