Breastfeeding in the First 24 Hours – Benefits and Tips
Congratulations! You are a proud mommy to a beautiful baby now. You may be thinking that probably motherhood may be a cakewalk for you. Well, ladies, we hate to burst the bubble but this beautiful phase comes along with oodles of responsibilities and challenges, and the very first in the line may be breastfeeding after birth. You may have heard that how important it is to breastfeed your baby within 24 hours after birth. And here in the following article, we shall be discussing breastfeeding in the first 24 hours, its various benefits and we shall throw some light on various tips on how to go about it.
What Happens During the First 24 Hours After Child Birth
So, what exactly happens as soon as you deliver your baby? Well, if you are intrigued to know, then we shall share with you what a mom and her baby may experience on the first day after birth. Following are some of the things a mommy and her baby may experience:
1. To Mom
As a mommy, you may experience some of the following on your first day after birth:
- Whether you had a normal (vaginal) delivery or a c-section, you may experience pain. However, you may be given medicines to overcome this pain.
- You may experience stomach cramping and bleeding, which is very normal and will subside soon.
- You may find it difficult to sit and feeding may seem like a humongous task.
- In spite of all this, you may still want to begin breastfeeding your baby.
2. To Baby
Your little bundle of joy may go through some of the following experiences:
- Your baby experiences a massive transition from a dark and cosy environment to bright and shiny surroundings.
- He was in a quiet and slow-moving world and here everything may seem to be noisy and chaotic.
- The most important thing that your little munchkin may experience is hunger.
- It is important that you make efforts to feed your baby before he starts crying as it may get difficult to feed a cranky and crying baby.
What Are the Benefits of Breastfeeding Immediately After Birth
Breastfeeding your baby soon after birth is not only good for the baby but is also beneficial for the mother. Following are some benefits of breastfeeding immediately after birth:
- Breastfeeding is very important for building your newborn baby’s immunity, which will help your baby fight against many ailments and infections.
- As soon as you begin breastfeeding your baby your body releases a hormone called oxytocin, which helps in contracting your uterine muscles.
- As your baby begins to suckle, it helps in more production of milk for your baby and also gets your milk supply going.
- It helps in building a better breastfeeding bond between the mother and her baby as the baby is more alert during this time.
- Skin-to-skin contact aids your baby to latch correctly.
- It may calm and soothe your baby as sucking helps in providing comfort to babies.
- Coming in close contact with the mother helps the baby to stay warm by using the mother’s body heat and warmth.
- It is also seen that mothers who start breastfeeding within a few hours after birth tend to breastfeed their babies successfully for a longer period of time.
How Much Breast Milk Does a Newborn Need on the First Day?
Your newborn baby has a very tiny tummy, it is as small as the size of a cherry. This small tummy may only be able to hold about 5 to 7 ml of colostrum (thick yellow milk); because of this very reason, you may have to feed your baby approximately 10 to 15 times on the first day after birth. Your baby may breastfeed every 1.5 to 3 hours. If your baby sleeps most of the time and does not get up to feed for 2.5 to 3 hours, we recommend that you wake up your baby and breastfeed.
Essential Tips for Breastfeeding in First 24 Hours
Here are some tips that may help you to for breastfeeding your baby within 24 hours after birth:
- Sit in a comfortable position, you may still be hurting from the birthing process and thus you may make use of pillows to give you support. Avoid stooping or bending forward, sit upright and comfortably.
- Make sure your baby latches correctly by taking most part of your areola (the dark part around the nipple) inside his mouth. Improper latching may not only lead to pain for the mother but it may also result in lesser milk intake by the baby.
- Refrain from force-feeding your baby. You should feed only when you feel your baby is hungry.
- Prepare yourself mentally to feed your baby 10 to 15 times a day. This is because your baby has a small tummy with a small appetite and may require regular feeding.
- Make sure you keep your baby close to your skin as you feed. Skin-to-skin contact is beneficial for you and your baby.
- Newborn babies usually sleep a lot after birth but you should try to feed your baby every three hours to get your breast milk supply going.
- You may take 45 minutes or more to breastfeed your baby for the first few times and it may tire and exhaust you. But the first milk or colostrum is very important to build immunity for your baby.
- In case you face any difficulties in first-night breastfeeding or generally, you are facing troubles in breastfeeding your baby, you should get in touch with the lactation consultant for assistance.
Things That May Interfere With Nursing After Child Birth
Breastfeeding is a process that usually comes naturally to a mother. However, sometimes certain complications may arise that may interfere with this process. Following are some complications that may interfere with nursing after childbirth:
- If you have had an epidural delivery, this may make your baby extremely sleepy and drowsy and thus he may not be able to suckle.
- If you had a C-section, this may make you tired and exhausted.
- If you have a premature or preterm baby, this may hamper your breastfeeding. You should get in touch with a lactation expert to know more about how to feed a preterm baby.
- Narcotics may create problems in breastfeeding your baby.
- If your baby has to be kept in a neonatal or intensive care unit then it may cause troubles with breastfeeding. However, you may be told to express the milk and feed it to your baby.
It is very normal for a newbie-mommy to experience various breastfeeding challenges and there is no need to worry and panic. With proper guidance and medical help, you may be able to share a great breastfeeding experience with your little bundle of joy.