How do I know when the baby is ready to breastfeed after birth?

Health advice, Questions/answers

Marie, I have a silly question, but here it goes. How do I know if the baby is ready to breastfeed after birth? This will help me to prepare. Thank you for all your information! Amy


Hello Amy, it’s not a silly question!

A baby who has just left your stomach has an adrenaline effect which is released which means they are very much awake on birth. You need to take advantage of this awareness to invite it to take your breast within the first hour after its arrival. They will be able to suck harder and ensure that their glycemia level doesn’t drop too much given that the baby no longer receives nourishment from the umbilical cord.

When the baby is lying skin-to-skin on you, we often see the following as signs they are ready:

  •    They move their eyes or mouth
  •    They stick out their tongue
  •    They suck their fist or fingers, skin
  •    They try to climb up to your breast (nesting reflex)
  •    They open their eyes, stretch, move a bit
  •    They raise their head even if they don’t have control of it

These are some things you can look for and which can help you know when it’s the right time to try to start breastfeeding.

I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes well Amy, and trust yourself – we learn new things every day!

Marie

The Baby Expert

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