How to Breastfeed As Soon As Possible After Giving Birth?

Sep 23,2022

Ⅰ. The method of breastfeeding as soon as possible after giving birth to a baby

There are various factors that affect the initiation of lactation after delivery, resulting in insufficient breast milk, which ultimately leads to low intake of breast milk for newborns and unsuccessful breastfeeding.

The initiation of lactation is the beginning of the massive secretion of postpartum milk, usually within 48 to 72 hours after delivery. Some behaviors can stimulate the initiation of lactation, and the mother can use these behaviors to stimulate the secretion of milk.

The behaviors of lactation initiation mainly include neonatal sucking and artificial lactation, of which artificial lactation is further divided into manual milking and electric breast pumping.

Breast sucking by the newborn is the most important way to promote the initiation of postpartum lactation, and at the same time, the contact between mother and baby can lead to mutual dependence and emotional attachment.

The mother can take the reclining position to let the newborn suck, and the mother should hold the baby's head, shoulders and buttocks so that the baby's head is in a straight line with the body.

Artificial lactation is mainly implemented when the mother and baby are separated. In the absence of direct neonatal sucking stimulation, the mother can use an electric breast pump to express milk to assist lactation, and can choose different methods according to their own experience and feelings.

Compared with the electric breast pump machine, manual milking requires more technical skills, and it is easier for the mother to feel fatigued and interrupt the initiation of lactation. Electric milking can not only reduce the pressure in this regard, but also protect the health of the breasts.

Baby sucking and mother-infant contact as early as possible can promote lactation. It is recommended that newborns suck within 30 minutes and have skin-to-skin contact within 1 hour after delivery.

Mothers who started lactation initiation behavior within 6 hours after delivery could maintain lactation better; mothers who started lactation initiation behavior within 12 hours postpartum had higher rates of exclusive breastfeeding.

There are also studies that set the best start time for lactation initiation behavior within 8 hours after delivery, which is for your reference.

Ⅱ. Factors affecting lactation initiation behavior

1. Postpartum fatigue

Postpartum decline in physical and mental capacity and persistent lack of energy that cannot be relieved by rest or sleep. This adversely affects the development of lactation initiation behavior.

2. Surgery related

Cesarean section can interfere with initiation and maintenance of breastfeeding. It may be because of postoperative incision pain, inconvenience in turning over, unsatisfactory early analgesic effect, and concerns about the impact of anesthetics on the baby, which may hinder breastfeeding to a certain extent.

3. Obesity during pregnancy

It will lead to a decrease in the mother's willingness to breastfeed and shorten the maintenance time of breastfeeding, making it difficult to start and sustain lactation initiation behavior. Obese mothers often have larger breasts and areolas, and it is more difficult to adopt traditional feeding positions for newborns to latch on, which also affects the maintenance of sucking.

4. Maternal anxiety

Not only is it not conducive to the development of breastfeeding, but also has a negative impact on the maintenance of breastfeeding.

5. Environmental security and privacy also have an impact on the development of lactation initiation behavior

6. The influence of culture

A preference for formula, some mothers not accepting breastfeeding by expressing or using an electric breast pump, and suspicion that breastmilk obtained by expressing or pumping is different from direct breastfeeding, and may even reduce the benefits of breastfeeding for the newborn.

7. Insufficient personnel assistance and lack of knowledge about lactation initiation behaviors 

Insufficient personnel assistance and lack of knowledge about lactation initiation behaviors  make mothers unaware of the importance of early lactation initiation behaviors, and cannot initiate lactation initiation behaviors in a timely manner after delivery.

Therefore, new mothers can consult more medical staff, experienced friends, etc., to obtain scientific help, and obstetric and pediatric medical staff should also actively provide help to help new mothers start lactation and breastfeed as soon as possible.

It is hoped that maternal friends can start lactation smoothly and breastfeed successfully after understanding the way and possible influencing factors of lactation initiation.

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