If you are planning on breastfeeding your baby, odds are good you're pretty passionate about your choice. You want to do everything possible to ensure it's an easy transition and a positive experience for both you and your newborn.
And while there is plenty of info out there to help you learn as much as you can about seamlessly getting your baby on the boob, there may be one simple thing you can do right after giving birth that will help you get off to a good start. According to a new study, skin-to-skin contact in the delivery room between mom and baby is linked to an increase in exclusive breastfeeding.
Yep. That's it. A mom's intention to breastfeed, coupled with having her newborn placed in her arms for skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth, increases the chances of breastfeeding being a success.
Huh. I guess that makes sense. So much of breastfeeding involves bonding and connecting with your infant. It only seems fitting that having that experience right from the start would make learning to breastfeed easier for both mom and baby.
Hold up -- maybe that's where I went wrong when I had my son. I only breastfed him for a couple of weeks (long story) -- but I guess I should note that I did not have skin-to-skin contact with him after his birth.
No, it wasn't by choice. (Gah. I'm not that horrible.)
You see, I was in labor with my little guy for about 24 hours, and somewhere towards the end, I suddenly spiked a fever. They weren't sure what was going on, so as soon as he came out, the nurses whisked him away to check him over and make sure he was ok. Turns out he was just fine, and several minutes later, he was presented to me all swaddled up like a little burrito.
And while I do remember getting a brief lession in how to breastfeed, there was definitely no skin-to-skin stuff involved. I didn't have the heart to unroll him from his cozy little bundle.
But I wonder if I had ... is there a chance breastfeeding would've come more naturally to me? I guess there's really no way to know for sure, but it's possible that it could've had some sort of a positive impact.
Oh well, there's really nothing I can do about it now -- but if you're having a baby in the near future and have your heart set on breastfeeding, you should definitely put this little trick in your back pocket and give it a shot if your birth experience allows for it. (Every little bit helps when it comes to offering the boob.)
Are you hoping to breastfeed your baby?
Image via LWA/Larry Williams/Corbis