Let’s talk about newborn assessments immediately after your birth. It's time we advocate to protect the Golden Hour at all costs if you truly want to initiate bonding and breastfeeding with your newborn.
Many of the birthing practices that are considered routine (induction, epidurals, bathing and separation of the mother and her babee directly interfere with the hormonal (oxytocin, prolactin, catecholamines and endorphins) orchestration of labor and birth and ultimately with breastfeeding. It’s a lot manhandling of the babee after delivery and it’s not so gentle at times either.
“Newborn care practices also affect breastfeeding. Vigorous suctioning can create oral aversion as the baby protects himself by keeping his mouth closed and the baby will shut down.” Linda J Smith
Overstimulating your babee with multiple examinations, suctioning, weighing and measuring, heel sticks for glucose checks, eye treatment, and injections can cause your babee to shut down. Bathing removes the smell of the amniotic fluid, a guide to finding the nipple.
These seemingly simple birthing practices -> induction, epidurals, instrument usage, routine newborn care, and separation of the mother and her babee create many of the problems we see in the early hours and days of breastfeeding.
Keeping the mother and her babee together, especially in the skin-to-skin position, goes a long way toward solving problems that may develop during birth.
Before an assessment is done asks yourself
Will this interrupt skin to skin??
"All routine procedures, including maternal and newborn assessments, can be done during SSC. Nonemergent procedures that require separation, such as obtaining a birth weight, can be done at time that doesn't interrupt this psychophysiologically sensitive period."
Mother and babee should never be separated after birth unless medically be essay:
1. If able, keep babee on your chest for assessments.
2. No bathing babee before the Golden Hour.
3. Immediate skin to skin after birth and REMAIN with them in the first hours and days after birth to reset your babee’s nervous system especially if there is an intervention filled birth.
Congratulations on your new arrival.
Let's start preparing for childbirth and the transition to breastfeeding today. If you are at least 28-30 weeks preparing for a natural birth and choose to breastfeed book your birth to breastfeeding support here.