Many mothers often realize after birth that breastfeeding preparation actually starts before birth. You might be surprised how much the pregnancy period has to do with successful breastfeeding.
Here are my top 4 tips to get breastfeeding off to a good start.
1. Take a Birth Preparation Class from a Independent Educator
Independent educator means your instructor is working outside of the hospital. The reason you want someone independent is:
- You will learn how to advocate for yourself rather than how to be a good patient.
- You will learn coping techniques for handling the pain and intensity of labor rather than spending time learning all the drugs that are available for coping.
This study from Canada looked at pethidine (a common pain relief drug) and its affect on immediate breastfeeding. And found:
“40 (56%) of the 72 mothers had received pethidine during labour; the infants were also sedated and most of them (25/40) did not suck at all.”
Remember just like during pregnancy any drugs you consume your baby is too.
Love Based Birth preparation is an independent class, click here to join the next series.
The single most important factor for your birth outcome is who you choose as your primary care provider (CP). If you are with an active management, intervention happy CP, don’t try to change their practice. Move on.
Research shows routine interventions during labor and birth can interrupt breastfeeding AND cause further interventions.
This study from Canada found when mums receive ongoing IV fluid during labor their babies can loose more weight than expected causing alarm and increasing potential for NICU stays.
“Nurses and doctors have long wondered why some babies lose substantially more weight than others even though all babies get small amounts to eat in the beginning,” said principal investigator Prof Joy Noel-Weiss from the School of Nursing at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Health Sciences. “It appears neonates exposed to increased fluids before birth might be born overhydrated, requiring the baby to regulate his or her fluid levels during the first 24 hours after birth.”
LBB Free Membership area has lots of information on choose a care provider. Click here.
3. Write Your Birth Preferences
The best way to organise your thoughts and intentions for your upcoming birth is by putting together your birth preferences.
Spending time doing this simple exercise will help you and your partner get on the same page for birth. Additionally it is a great way to clearly discuss with your primary care provider how you envision your birth. Here is a great article that explains how to come up with the perfect birth plan.
Remember: Include your intentions for after birth like undisturbed first hour, rooming in and breastfeeding.
Love Based Birth free members area has articles, sample birth plans and birth plan templates you can download. Click here.
4. Undisturbed First Hour of Skin to Skin Contact
This study back in 1990 shows how interventions like mumbaby separation in the first hour after birth disrupt the baby’s ability to get a good starting latch.
‘72 infants delivered normally were observed for 2 h after birth.In the separation group (n = 34), the infant was placed on the mother’s abdomen immediately after birth but removed after about 20 min for measuring and dressing. In the contact group (n = 38) contact between mother and infant was uninterrupted for at least 1 h.
After about 20 min the infants began to make crawling movements towards the breast; the rooting reflex soon came into play, and at an average of 50 min after birth most of the infants were sucking at the breast.
More infants in the contact group than in the separation group showed the correct sucking technique (24/38 vs 7/34)’
Happy Breastfeeding Week!
Remember while it is normal it is not always easy at the start. Be kind and patient with yourself and build your post birth support team early on.
Special Note: I am not suggesting interventions are evil and your a bad mum if you need them! They have their time and place of course, and YOU are a fabulous mother regardless how your birth went.
What I am suggestion is when used in 30-90% of births like they are in many settings, mums, babies and breastfeeding will suffer.
This fabulous imagine is one of my all time favourites of that first latch. Baby hasn’t left mums arms since birth, the cord is still attached, dad is just out of the frame on the left and the environment is quiet and undisturbed. Thank you for your permission to share it mummy! It was captured by the very talented Keidi of Unison Photo.