If you decide on a natural breastfeeding birth plan, without a lot of
medications and interruptions, your baby will be more likely to
breastfeed immediately after birth.
Most babies have a very strong sucking reflex straight
after birth, but it is also normal for a baby to only nuzzle or lick a
little. Some babies will latch on very well, while others take some time
to get the hang of it.
Studies have even shown that a newborn baby can crawl from the
mother’s abdomen to her chest and latch himself onto the breast straight
after birth, without any help.
Watch the breast crawl video here.
If the baby does not initiate breastfeeding on his/her own after 50 minutes or so, then the mother can help him/her latch on.
Breastfeeding as soon as possible, will stimulate the production of milk.
Mothers who breastfeed shortly after birth have been found to breastfeed their babies longer and more successfully.
Suckling decreases the tension and stress of birth and labour for the baby and will help mom relax too, as she will be producing the feel good hormones during nursing.
Tips to make Breastfeeding at Birth more Possible
A natural breast feeding birth experience is best. Having a non-medical birth, if possible, with as little medication as you can. Medications can make babies sleepy and less able to suck the way they should.
Skin to skin contact between the mother and baby will help the baby stay warm after birth, and will increase the chances of successful breastfeeding after birth.
Educate yourself about a good latch. Watch the video here. You should never let your baby suck on your nipple alone, he/she should always have the nipple and a large part of your areola in their mouth for the best possible milk transfer.
If your baby does not seem interested in breastfeeding immediately after birth, you can rub some colostrum on baby's lips to entice him/her.
Things that may Interfere with Breastfeeding after Birth
An epidural can result in a baby being extra drowsy and experiencing a poor suck after birth.
Narcotics can hamper breastfeeding at birth success.
Having your baby put in the Intensive Care Unit. In this case, a mother might need topump exclusively, until her baby is able to breastfeed.
Important ~ Period after Birth while Breastfeeding
Remember that if your are experiencing very sore nipples, baby is most
likely not latching on correctly. Some nipple sensitivity in the
beginning is normal, but other than this, you should not have severe
pain, cracks or bleeding. Seek the help of a lactation consultant.
Try not to rush breastfeeding at birth, these first moments together
are mostly to introduce your baby to the breast, not to fill his/her tummy.
For the first few days, your breasts will be producing only
until your mature milk comes in. This colostrum is produced in small
amounts and is genuinely filling and nutritious and is enough to fill your baby’s