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Thread: How soon can you breastfeed after birth?

  1. #1

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    Default How soon can you breastfeed after birth?

    With my first baby, we didnt do a first feed until a few hours after he was born as after my delivery and a quick cuddle he was whisked away to my room to wait for me. The midwives didnt say anything to me about it and being a first time Mum I didnt think about asking until awhile later



    This time round Im in a different hospital where baby will be placed on my chest as soon as he is born and we can cuddle all we want until Im ready for him to be weighed etc. I do know they are very pro-breastfeeding. I feel stupid asking this but I might not remember to bring it up with the middies at my birth.

    I was just wondering if its ok to try and feed if he gives me signals he's ready right after birth?

    I really feel the delay in the first feeding last time was what caused all our feeding troubles and ended in me formula feeding my first son.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Yup, as soon as the baby is out then he can feed, or attempt to. I had a hospital gown on, didn't see DS for the first 15 mins (then he was wrapped up and taken away again until he was 90 minutes old) and getting feeding going was not easy - I really wanted him on my chest straight away, I wanted to see him bob his little head around and hunt out my nipples... ah well, have to hope there's a next time!

    Best of luck... for tomorrow? Wow! Best of luck to you, hope it all goes well and you get that fantastic first feed.

  3. #3

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    Hi Anna, go for it as soon as you want! Don't let them take your baby away unless they need to for medical reasons... I think that's very sad your son was taken away from you just to wait in your room
    Hopefully this time round they'll be a bit more sensitive at the hospital.
    When I had Natty, we tried straight away, even before DH got a cuddle. She wasn't really interested at that stage, so we left it for another half-hour, then tried again. The middies actually suggested it the second time round, so I hope your midwives help you out in this too... All the best for a great birth and for happy breastfeeding times ahead!

  4. #4

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    If bub goes striaght onto your chest she might start bobbing around for a feed on her own. I had Antonia on me for about an hour and a half trying to get her feeding - standard practice at our hospital. They weighed her after that.

  5. #5

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    After Yasin was born I breastfed while they were putting my stitches in. My first bit of mummy multi-tasking. BF and sucking on gas, DH took my gas away because he thought I would drop Yasin and I fought him for it lol.

  6. #6

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    I fed Isabella for 40 minutes straight after she was born. She latched on straight away, she fed through my stitches and feeding helps with afterbirth pains too. It is such a special bonding experience. Hope everything goes well for you, good luck.

  7. #7

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    Remember they aren't born starving, they have been nourished by the placenta all that time until they are born. But for optimal bonding and feeding, skin to skin cuddles right away are ideal and then allowing baby to feed when he's ready - not when the midwife shoves the boob in the baby's mouth! Check out the breast crawl below: well worth the watch.

    [url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YW72pFFEIUo"]YouTube - Breast Crawl - Initiation of the Breast Crawl (Unicef)[/url]
    Last edited by BellyBelly; January 1st, 2008 at 09:55 PM.
    Kelly xx

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  8. #8

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    Personally, I think there's too much pressure to try to start BF immediately after the birth. After 7 hours sleep in the three days BEFORE established labour, a posterior labour and forceps delivery, I was just not ready for my next big challenge so I asked the midwives to wait half an hour - all the time feeling guilty that maybe that extra half-hour would spell the death of our BF efforts.

    Now, having watched the Breast Crawl video Kelly, I think that is definitely the way to go. Take it gently and let the baby feed when he or she wants to without shoving breast and baby's head together. That's definitely the way I will do it next time. Thank you for sharing that - it's TERRIFIC.

  9. #9
    Claire Guest

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    Harry had a very quick feed within a few hours of bring born. But he was in NO hurry and didn't feed again until 8-10 hours later! I was a bit worried but my midwife was happy with the initial quick feed. I just ensured that when I felt he wanted to feed (which was after a big sleep), we were alone and the mood was relaxed and my top was off.

  10. #10
    Jodie259 Guest

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    With my 1st child I had an emergency c/s...
    When my DS was born, they wrapped him up and I had a cuddle & photo... but then they whisked him away to another floor to get the agpar & immunisation etc. I sent my DH with him. I stayed on the operating table and had a cyst removed, then went to recovery. It was hours later that I was sent back to the maternity ward... and in honesty - I can't remember when I breastfed my son And like you Anna... I sometimes wonder if this is the reason that my son became a formula baby from his 2-3rd day. (Probably not, as I really don't think I ever had any milk...)

    When I fell pregnant again, I had an elective c/s and I asked my ob if the baby could be bought to me in recovery so that Icould b/f and bond. He said he would definately try - and it had become recent procedure at the hospital to do that... if there was a midwife available.

    So I was booked in as the 1st c/s for the day... but because I wanted the baby with me, and that required a midwife to be present... they rescheduled me to the last c/s for the day - to ensure that the midwife would be available to sit with me. Apart from me starving because I hadn't eaten anything all day - it was the best decision I made! It was so nice to have DD immediately after the surgery - and she went on the boob and sucked away like a little trooper. She still breast feeds, but like the 1st, I don't think I have much milk... so she is supplemented with formula. But she always gets the booby first.

    DH was also with us - so it was so nice to have all three of us together. With the first pregnancy, DH wanted to check on me, but also be with the baby, and he felt torn between the two.

    I would talk to your obstetrician or hospital to see what their procedure is. If I hadn't of mentioned it to the obstet - and the midwives when I arrived - I may not have had the opportunity to do it. From what I gather - it isn't done often (with c/s at least.... might be different for vaginal birth).

  11. #11

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    My DS was placed on my chest as soon as he was born and we left him to crawl to the breast which took him about an hour or so. He then stayed with me for another hour skin to skin before he was weighed and measured. So all in all it was 2 hours and such a special time just to admire him.

    Spring

  12. #12

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    DD fed for 20 mins as soon as the cord was cut.. I put her on my chest and she searched for my boobie herslef IYKWIM

  13. #13

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    some wonderful posts here

    Anna

    the first 2 hrs after birth are crucial for positive breast feeding outcomes...this is the stage when the hormones of birth are at their optimum for mother and baby...both alert, interactive.

    The first BF helps with uterine contraction to help with the expulsion of the placenta and to reduce postpartum bleeding. The first nuzzles at the breast initiate an increase in prolactin levels...the mothering hormone...associated with milk production and also the primitive mothering response to care for the newborn

    The first BF for baby initiates the gastrointestinal system and digestion of the first milk (colostrum) provides the essential digestive factors for a baby to complete the clotting cascade (remember they get the vitamen K as they dont have a complete clotting cascade)

    research also points towards the first 2 hrs being crucial for bonding and reduction in PND symptoms...and babes that feed within this 4th stage of labor and birth are more likely to feed successfully and for mothers to feed for a longr period of time

    hope this helps

    xx yogababy

  14. #14

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    yogababy, does this apply in the case of a caesarean birth also? i have a good (or bad!) chance of ending up with a c/s for this baby but would like to breastfeed sooner than last time (when I had to wait in the theatre for 90 minutes before being reunited with my baby - bf was extremely difficult and took a month to become established, which may or may not be related to the delay). i'm going to discuss this at my midwife appointment and see if they would let me feed in theatre or spend less time sitting by myself in 'recovery'.

  15. #15

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    hey mgm

    there is not the same cascade of hormones in an elective c/s...so establishing the first contact with your baby is ver important...skin to skin and nuzzling at the breast is your right not your privledge...dont ask just nicely tell your health care providers that this is what you would like, and as long as there is no medical reason that it will have a negative effect on you or your baby they cannot really refuse

    a theatre environment is cool...and they may argue the case...but skin to skin is the best thermal means of maintaining and stabalising a newborns temp. The skin to skin contact also them establishes hormone release for the mother and the baby...facilitating bonding and successful BF

    I know it is difficult to BF laying down (on your back during a c/s) but letting your baby smell you and nuzzle at the breast will have a wonderful and positive impact on you both...your partner could also provide skin to skin in the theatre...he could wear a jacket/shirt with a zip/buttons and bring his baby to his chest

    hope this helps...c/s can still be a very special and personal birth experience

    xx yogababy

  16. #16

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    I tried to feed Mackenzie about 15 mins after she was born. She had been placed on my chest straight away and then was taken for about 3 mins to have quick check over. She was then on me for another hr or so and we tried latching her a few times. She wasn't very hungry but def latched on and seemed to know what to do.

    All up I had about 1/12 hrs in the birth room with hubby only and we just cuddled her and tried feeding (and called some people!). It was such a nice peaceful time and there was no pressure. Mackenzie is a very good feeder and the only issue I had were sore nipples (very sore).

    Best of luck with it all and remeber the ABA are there to help - they are REALLY helpful! But don't feel guilty either if it doesn't work the way you want - you can't always predict what will happen.

  17. #17

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    Thanks yogababy, I appreciate your advice - i'm hoping for a VBAC so if it doesn't work it'll be an emergency caesar, not elective; I don't know what effect that has on hormone release. But either way I'll certainly be letting the hospital know my wishes and trying to bf as soon as possible.

    Sorry to temporarily hijack your thread, Anna! You're probably feeding little Ripley right now! Hope all's going wonderfully.

  18. #18

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    After I gave birth to Aurelia (she was placed on my chest after they quickly got the meconium out that she inhaled), she was placed on my chest. I asked to breastfeed but I was told not to yet for some reason, i don't remember what but it was legitimate. All i said was, "I want to breastfeed, when can I feed her?" type of thing.

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