Early breastfeeding is key to establishing a nursing routine between mothers and their newborns. Jean Hixon, a Renown Lactation Connection expert, shares her top tips to help mom and baby maximize those first moments.
Early breastfeeding helps get breastfeeding off to a good start and is associated with the successful establishment and maintenance of breastfeeding. By offering the breast soon after delivery, it will help ensure your baby receives colostrum, “your first milk,” which is considered a newborn’s first immunization.
Keeping mother and baby together in early “skin-to-skin” contact has many benefits. Skin-to-skin is when you place your diapered baby directly on the mother with a gown and blankets covering both of them. Skin-to-skin will help baby keep warm and enhance mother-baby bonding. This is also a good time to practice breastfeeding and help learn your baby’s feeding cues. Frequent unrestricted breastfeeding is the key to help establish breastfeeding. Remember, the more you breastfeed, the more milk you will have for a healthy milk supply.
If your baby is sleepy or disinterested in nursing right after birth, that’s fine: Just continue skin-to-skin contact. Watch for feeding cues. Every few hours you can gently try to rouse your baby by talking to them, holding them upright and massaging their back. Hand expression of milk is another skill that your nurse can teach you that will help stimulate your milk supply and encourage your baby to breastfeed. Your nurse is trained to help with breastfeeding to make sure you get off to a good start, so be sure to ask for help if you need it!
For more information, contact Renown’s Lactation Connection Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 775-982-5210.
To celebrate breastfeeding resources in our community, the Northern Nevada Breastfeeding Coalition will be hosting its third annual Liquid Gold 5K walk/run on Sat., Aug. 6 at the University of Nevada, Reno. This will be a great way to spend the morning with your family and raise breastfeeding awareness in the community.