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Breastfeeding Practices

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During my perinatal nursing rotation, we watched a video called, “Breastfeeding Best Practices.” This video was geared for nurses to assist with teaching about breastfeeding, and I thought it would be great to highlight the key concepts I learned.

Breastfeeding initiation
Evidenced-based tip: Studies show that babies who have immediate skin-to-skin contact after birth and access to the breast within the first hour of life have better outcomes and longer feeds when breastfeeding.

Skin-to-skin is a term used to explain the method of placing the newborn directly on the mother’s chest, with skin-to-skin contact. The heat of the skins touching will warm the baby better than having clothes on, but note that after contact baby should be clothed to prevent heat loss. This skin-to-skin method is also linked to an increase in oxytocin levels (mother’s hormone that stimulates breast milk ejection). An increase in oxytocin will help ease the let down process of milk, and also increases uterine tone after birth, which is a definite bonus!

Don’t worry if baby is a little slower to begin to feed. Keeping the baby skin-to-skin while he is sleeping will help wake the baby and initiate feeding cues when ready. Also, some mothers are worried that the general anesthesia received during a cesarean might delay the initiation of breastfeeding, or make the mother’s milk unsafe for baby. This is not the case, and mothers may begin breastfeeding as soon as they are awake and ready.

It is important to be looking out for the newborn’s feeding cues, this will help mother’s know that baby is hungry and ready to feed. Sometimes the baby will turn his head toward the chest, begin to pucker his lips, start to open his eyes, move around a lot, and stick his tongue out. This is generally known as the “quiet alert state”, and is usually the most effective time to initiate feeding. If these cues are ignored, the baby may begin to cry or get frustrated and feedings may be a little more challenging.

Add a Comment3 Comments

Hey guys, thanks!

The next segment of this article will be this Monday (April 19th) I am a HUGE fan of breastfeeding, and I think a lot of new mom's are not given a lot of information about the useful tips and possible struggles that they might encounter. For the next couple months I will be concentrating on Pregnancy and Maternity issues, natural birthing, and anything else included.

If you have any ideas or particular questions, please send me a message and I will look it up and write about it!

Thanks again for your support, I appreciate it.



April 15, 2010 - 4:05pm
EmpowHER Guest


I found the information to be very helpful. When can I expect the next segment in this series? I'm a very big fan of yours, you make complicated information very understandable


April 15, 2010 - 11:58am
EmpowHER Guest

These tips are very helpful. I breastfed my second child for one full year. The reason why I was so successful with breastfeeding that time was because of the skin to skin contact and the determination. Being knowledgeable of these tips beforehand helped me greatly. This is a great article.

April 15, 2010 - 7:04am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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