Skin-to-skin contact encourages both breastfeeding and bonding in baby’s first days
• Relax in a comfortable position and lay baby on your bare chest in the first hour for skin-to-skin contact if possible.
• Cover baby with blanket to keep warm
• Make eye contact, talk, sing and enjoy your time together
• It can be discouraging if your baby doesn’t latch immediately, give them time, they are learning too.
• Continue skin-to-skin contact during your hospital stay and when you get back home. The more time you spend in skin-to-skin contact, the easier it will be for your baby to find the nipple and latch-on. Babies learn to breast/chestfeed by being at the breast or chest.
Learning to latch takes time
• Place your hand under your breast
• Use your nipple to tickle baby’s nose and lips.
• Aim your nipple just above your baby’s top lip
• Baby should lean into the breast/chest chin first and then latch onto your breast/chest
• Baby's mouth should be wide and take in some or all of the areola (the darker area around your nipple), and not just take in the nipple.
• Listening for swallowing sounds can be helpful, but they are not always heard. Look for swallowing movements in your baby’s chin.
• If you feel pain, break the suction with your finger and start over
Visit Droplets for information and watch videos on feeding your baby in the first hour, latching, hand expression, hands-on pumping, and maximizing milk supply.
Visit the Institute for the Advancement of Breastfeeding & Lactation Education for videos on paced bottle-feeding, asymmetrical latch/sandwich hold, fitting breast pump flanges, cup feeding, and finger feeding