Feeding your baby within one hour of birth helps get breastfeeding off to a good start. The first time you breastfeed after delivery is called “first latch.” Your baby needs to have the first latch with colostrum, which is the most nutritious part of your milk. Babies are born ready to eat, so if you and your baby are doing well, you can attempt the first latch in the delivery room soon after birth.
Do you know How Do Babies Breastfeed for the First Time?
A touch is a powerful tool! Placing your baby on your chest immediately after birth promotes bonding and a strong introduction to breastfeeding. The Baby’s alertness and instincts help to get breastfeeding off to a good start. When your baby is born, talk to your doctor or midwife about the benefits of skin-to-skin contact within the first few hours after birth. Skin-to-skin helps your baby transition from the womb to the world, and it can help get breastfeeding off to a good start. Your newborn might even latch on for her first feeding in this position.
When you get to hold your baby for the first time, she may try to breastfeed independently or with a little help from you. To help her latch on, touch your baby’s cheek nearest your nipple with your finger. This should cause the baby to open his or her mouth wide to root and suck (like how babies do when they are hungry). If you or your baby need a little more help, ask your doctor or nurse. Breastfeeding in the hours after delivery is important. If you go to your baby before he or she cries, it might help with breastfeeding. Your nurse will know when your baby is ready and can help you get started,
What Kind of Feeling Do you get While Breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding may feel strange the first time you try it, with your new little one nuzzling your breast or opening his mouth as he moves his head from side to side. Sometimes he may start strong, knowing exactly what to do, a sign that he was already getting nutrition from your breast during pregnancy.
Do not be surprised if you feel some “pulling” or a slight tingle in your nipple and areola during the first couple of weeks of breastfeeding. Most women feel discomfort or pain in the early days of breastfeeding, especially when the baby first latches on. This feeling does not always mean that your baby is doing it wrong. It just means that your body is adjusting to feeding your newborn, and it is normal to feel sensations in your breasts at times. This is a sign that your baby isn’t latched on properly and can’t draw out breast milk effectively.”
A lactation professional or nurse can help you and your baby gets a good nursing position and latch right in the hospital. You will learn how to comfortably hold your baby, where to put your hands, and how to gently guide him onto your breast with his lower lip open wide like a fish. Some women who are unable to breastfeed will express (pump out) their breast milk and feed it to their babies in a bottle. This is called “bottle-feeding.” When you begin breastfeeding, your breasts will feel uncomfortably full. Your body will soon adjust, and soon you will not be so uncomfortable.
Your baby will be quite alert and eager to eat after birth, so you can try breastfeeding soon after delivery. The best time to start is within an hour of birth, so your baby has a chance to have her first eating experience. Your newborn will latch onto the breast on her own. It should feel pain-free for you when your baby is latching on correctly, but if your nipples are sore, see our tips on sore nipples.
Do not Be Conscious while Breastfeeding?
It is normal to feel self-conscious, embarrassed, or apprehensive the first time you try to breastfeed. If you are concerned about feeling exposed, let your nurse or caregiver know that you would like some privacy. Baby feeds best when the room is quiet, bright lights are turned off and no guests are present.
If there are visitors in your room, they can leave while you breastfeed. If you are in a hospital, you can use the privacy curtain. And, if you want to try to breastfeed on your own, you could ask to have some time alone with your baby.
Some women are not comfortable breastfeeding in front of other people. If there are visitors in your room, they can leave while you breastfeed. If you are in a hospital, you can use the privacy curtain. Or, if you want to try to breastfeed on your own first, ask to have some time alone with your baby.
What If Your Milk Has Not Come in Yet?
You may worry that your milk has not come in quickly enough, or that you cannot produce enough milk for your baby. However, it is important to know that colostrum is all your baby will need for the first few days after birth. Colostrum is a concentrated form of milk that has everything your baby needs to stay nourished. It has many natural antibodies for protection against illness and infection, as well as protein, fat-soluble vitamins, and minerals.
If your milk has not come in yet, it is okay. Colostrum is the perfect first food for your newborn for several reasons. Colostrum acts as a laxative and helps your baby eliminate bilirubin to prevent jaundice. It also coats the digestive tract and helps prevent infection. Plus, it provides immunity, is easy to digest, and is high in protein.
Breastfeeding Can Be Challenging
You cannot breastfeed if your baby does not latch on or suck. If you and your baby are having trouble breastfeeding, ask for help. Your doctor or lactation consultant can offer tips and advice that will make it easier for you and your baby to breastfeed.
It is natural to feel a little unsure if your baby does not nurse right away. Do not be discouraged. These problems commonly work themselves out over time when you and your baby get more experience with breastfeeding and the baby’s instincts kick in.
Breastfeeding should come naturally, but it does not always work that way. It is important to not become too frustrated or give up if it is not easy at first. You and your baby are just learning. There are plenty of resources available to help you through this process.
The first feeding should take 1-1.5 hours with the first 30 minutes devoted to your baby just being on the breast, with frequent breaks. It should take 10-15 minutes for your baby to have a full feed at each breast. This pattern is important for alertness and awareness of when your baby has had enough.
Breastfeeding and formula feeding are two well-accepted feeding options for babies. Breastmilk has a multitude of healthy properties, yet not all mothers can breastfeed due to time or medical constraints. Feeding is a round-the-clock commitment, but it is also an opportunity to form a lasting bond with the baby.
Here are some tips to help you during the first hours of feeding your baby:
Consider vitamin D supplements
Your baby’s doctor needs to be sure your baby is getting all the nutrition needed. Breast milk has great benefits. However, breast milk may not provide enough vitamin D. So, it is important to give your baby a Vitamin D supplement in the first few months of life. This is especially true if you are breastfeeding your baby.
Feed your newborn
After your baby is born, you will soon discover his or her feeding pattern. Each baby uses cues to show when they are hungry: hand-to-mouth movements, lip-smacking, or rooting (turning head to find a nipple). To nourish your newborn at the start of a feeding, place the entire areola in their mouth and wait until your baby latches on to the breast properly. Your newborn may need eight to 12 feedings a day — about one feeding every two to three hours.
No two babies are alike. Some feed quickly and calmly, others take their time and need to be burped frequently or instantly fall asleep at the breast. You and your baby will get to know each other through feeding. Follow your baby’s cues and respond to the way he or she suckles. Your actions will help establish a trusting relationship.
Expect variations in your new-born eating patterns
Newborns sometimes have a hard time staying awake long enough to finish an entire feeding. Before you begin, burp your baby — then start feeding. After the baby has been nursed a while, he or she may fall asleep. If that happens, gently rub him or her or tickle his or her feet to get your child to wake up and continue feeding. If the baby seems satisfied after feeding for 10 minutes or so, burp the baby and put him or her in your lap, where he might stay awake for a little longer.
Trust your instincts — and your newborns
Babies are born with a natural sucking reflex, making it easier to learn to breastfeed or bottle-feed. During the first few days after birth, your newborn will steadily gain weight and you will gradually learn how to feed and soothe your baby. Trust your instincts — and your newborns. Your baby knows just how much nutritional support she needs to grow and thrive.
Keep feedings consistent
Keep breast- or bottle-feeding consistent after leaving the hospital. For example, if you are breastfeeding now, do not allow anyone else to bottle-feed your baby. If you have decided bottles will be part of your routine, use them only occasionally at first and then increase the feeding times as you introduce formula or breast milk. This will keep your baby from getting confused while drinking from a bottle or the breast.
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