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Breastfeeding the First Day – All You Need to Know
“Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but gets you nowhere.” (Glenn Turner).
- Take a breastfeeding class
- Write a birth plan
- Write a breastfeeding plan
- Give birth
a in hospital if possible Baby Friendly
- Make sure your baby goes skin to skin as soon as possible after he is born
- Watch for signs that he is ready to feed
- Keep him skin to skin until he breastfeeds
- Get help with positioning and latch
- “Laid-back breastfeeding” is one of the latest trends in breastfeeding. Just lean back and let your baby self-attach. It’s awesome when it works. Not so awesome when it doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to give you little one some help and guidance. Listen to your instincts.
Skin to skin
- Stabilization of baby’s temperature
- Blood sugar regulation
- Facilitates breastfeeding initiation
- Longer breastfeeding duration
- Babies cry less
- Encourages bonding
- Pain relief
- Supports neurobehavioral development
- Better cardio-respiratory function
- Stimulates maternal hormones that can decrease bleeding
- Less maternal postpartum depression
- You baby will breastfeed more often
- He will cry less
- Your baby will stay more alert during feedings
- It continues to have all the benefits mentioned above
- Do skin-to-skin should if your baby has a low temperature
- It is more effective than putting him under a warmer (Source).
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Watch for cues showing that your baby is interested in eating.
- Colostrum is a laxative and aids in the passing of the meconium.
- It helps close the gut lining which helps prevent allergies and diseases.
- It is chock full of antibodies. Some people call it baby’s first vaccination.
Position and Latch
- Your baby is facing you.
- His nose is opposite your nipple
- When he opens wide pull him in quickly and closely.
- His chin should be pressed into your breast.
- His nose should not be pressed against your breast.
- It doesn’t hurt! It will feel like a very strong tug, but it should not be painful.
How Often Should You Expect Your Baby to be Breastfeeding in the First Day?
What if your baby doesn’t want to eat at all the first day?
A longlabor or a difficult birth
- Medications during labor (Source)
- Being premature (born earlier than 38 weeks)
- A tummy full of amniotic fluid
- Being “spitty” (although that is not a medical term, we use it a lot).
- This may be from a tummy full of amniotic fluid
Spittinessusually doesn’t start until 12-18 hours after birth
- I have a theory that it is the tummy getting used to functioning and figuring out what it is supposed to do.
What to do if your baby is not interested in breastfeeding the first day
- Skin-to-skin (you can’t do too much)
- Massage his back, rub his cheeks, lips
- Try hand-expressing some colostrum and rubbing it on your baby’s tongue or gums
- Hands-down, the most effective way I have found to get a sleepy baby to breastfeed is the side-lying position with skin-to-skin.
- Side-lying can be tricky with a newborn so get another set of hands to help you. A nurse, lactation consultant or midwife can help. She can show your partner how they can help with this position.
Things to Avoid the First Day
- Trying too long
Don’t actively try to get your baby to breastfeed for longer than 15-20 minutes at a time. If she’s not responding, let her sleep and try again in an hour.
Long sessions of trying will just wear her out and
- Mittens on her hands – babies hands are a very important part of their feeding behaviors. She needs to be able to get to them.
- Tight swaddling – your baby needs to be able to move around. Skin to skin is best.
- Do lots of skin to skin.
- Watch for feeding cues.
- Enjoy your baby!
Do you feel ready for your first day of breastfeeding? What questions do you have after reading this? Leave a comment below and I will respond.
Download my breastfeeding log for the first month. Make sure your baby is breastfeeding often enough! Keep track of what is important.