"Breastfeeding Your Baby: Mothers' Milk, Babies'
Choice" pamphlet has been written by mothers
for mothers. It is intended to provide you with basic information
to breastfeed your full term baby. If you or your baby are dealing
with unique circumstances or challenges, additional support and
information will be needed.
The First Hour
Right next to you, skin to skin, is the safest and healthiest
place for your baby to begin the world. Here, baby can feel your
body’s warmth, hear your heartbeat and voice, and smell your
skin. This helps the baby to relax, breathe calmly and recover from
Healthy bacteria from your skin will help baby’s immune
system to develop and the gut to start working. It also helps in
preventing infections if the creamy covering on the baby’s
skin is not washed until after the first hour of skin to skin contact.
By instinct, babies go through nine stages during the first hour.
They need time to progress through the stages in natural order.
This first hour needs to be protected from interruptions.
Within the first hour, the baby will begin to make motions towards
your breast. The baby’s response to the breast and nipple
is to open the mouth wide. Follow baby’s lead when this happens
and help in positioning the baby to latch on. After the first feeding,
your baby will want to sleep.
The First Day
Colostrum is the thick milk that is produced right after birth.
It is another source of healthy bacteria and help your baby’s
immune system to develop.
Breastfeeding often—every couple of hours or more—will
help your baby clear out the first black poop (meconium). This helps
prevent which jaundice that can otherwise require treatment.
If you can’t nurse your baby right away:
Begin hand expression of colostrum as soon as possible within
the first 6 hours after delivery. In addition to providing colostrum
to be given to your baby, the hand expression will signal your body
to make milk. See pages 4 or 5 for more information.
If your baby is in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), tell
the nurses that you want to breastfeed as soon as baby is able to
try. Take all the milk you have expressed to the NICU so that it
can be given to your baby.
If your baby does not nurse well or is in the NICU, hand express
and/or pump breastmilk about every 3 hours, and at least 8 times
in 24 hours. This “hands on” pumping method, outlined
on page 5, will help you to develop a good milk supply.