BREAST FEEDING – WHEN TO START BREAST FEEDING
Initiate breast feeding immediately after birth
After the delivery, immediate contact between the mother and infant is important. Immediately after a normal delivery, the baby is alert, wide-eyed, interested in the surroundings and wants to suckle during the first hour of birth. The infant is very receptive andthis time should be taken advantage of, to initiate breast-feeding. Skin to skin contact should occur for at least 1 to 2 hours after the delivery. The first feed is not so much to ‘feed’ the baby but more to really introduce the mother and baby to each other. Thesefirst hours after birth, allows mother-baby bonding and sets the tone for successful breast-feeding in the months ahead.
In case of caesarian section, the baby should be put on breast feed about after 4-6 hours of birth when the mother is recovering from the effect of anesthesia. As the mother is on her back, the baby is placed on pillows, raised to the level of the mother’s chest for convenient positioning of the baby on the breast. Another alternative position can be that the baby is made to lie on the mother’s chest with support to facilitate breast feeding.