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The first feeding after delivery

Immediately after delivery, your baby should be placed on your chest or abdomen, skin to skin. Babies are very alert after they are born, and they are usually hungry, too! Your baby’s first feeding can take place within 30 minutes to an hour after delivery. The protection against infection that human milk provides is important immediately after birth. Your milk will also give the baby nutrients to prevent a low blood sugar level. This early taste of your milk also stimulates the baby to nurse better later.

If you had a vaginal delivery, you can nurse in bed or in a chair in the following ways:

  • Lie on your side with your baby facing you.
  • Hold your baby in the cradle position, with the head in the crook of your arm. Firmly support the baby’s back and buttocks. When feeding this way, make sure your baby’s entire body is facing your body, not the ceiling.

If you had a Cesarean-section delivery you can nurse your baby in the following ways:

  • Sit up using one or two extra pillows to support your baby and protect your incision.
  • Lie down on your side with your baby facing you.
  • Use a side-sitting or "football" hold.

Always take time to make yourself comfortable. Do not be shy about asking for help during the first few feedings. Just as with learning anything new, it may take several feedings before you and your baby become a skilled nursing team.

 

The people at Breastfeeding101 are not medical professionals. We are moms here to show support. Please consult your physician or LC for any medical questions you might have.