Interventions and Lactation

Many interventions can affect the breastfeeding relationship. 


Drugs during labor and drugs taken during pregnancy can have an affect 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 lactogensis stage 2. “milk coming in”

Read more about breastfeeding after a c-section


Forceful suctioning to the mouth and nose after birth, can hurt 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.

Read more about "when is supplementation acceptable?"

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 baby, which will result in less breast milk consumed.
  • Read more on 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.

Tracy, CBC, CLD (CBI)


Course information on physiology of lactation / interventions and lactation.

Top of interventions and lactation page

Other pages on breastfeeding problems in connection with this page on interventions and lactation

- Immunity of breast milk

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