Interventions and Lactation

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Many interventions can affect the breastfeeding relationship. 


Drugs during labor and drugs that are taken during pregnancy can have an effect on the baby’s feeding behavior.

Assisted delivery (forceps and vacuum)

Trauma during birth can cause pain when the baby lies in certain positions and/or problems with latching.

Cesarean birth

Can delay the onset of lactogenesis stage 2. “milk coming in."

Learn more about breastfeeding after a c-section.


Forceful suctioning to the mouth and nose after birth, can hurt the baby and then cause the baby to avoid swallowing and breastfeeding.

Separation from the mother

A baby does not always need to be separated from the mother after birth.

Disadvantages of having the baby taken away immediately after birth:


Supplementation will disrupt the supply-demand principal of breastfeeding. Supplementation does not prevent hypoglycemia, weight loss, dehydration or jaundice.

Phototherapy for jaundice treatment:

  • It may separate the mother and baby. 
  • It can result in dehydration and poor feeding.
  • It can result in fatigue in a baby, which will result in less breast milk consumed.
  • Learn more about Jaundice and breastfeeding.

Painful procedures on the baby

Anything that is painful for the baby might cause him/her to resist feeding; things like heel sticks, injections, spinal taps, and circumcision. They should be avoided if possible. On the other hand, breastfeeding can be used to help the baby deal with the pain, if these procedures are inevitable.

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