Following the birth of your baby you will be given your baby to hold skin to skin for at least 60 minutes. This is a good time to offer the first breastfeed as your baby will be awake and alert after birth. We will show you how to recognise the early signs of your baby’s readiness to feed and we will give you any help you require. Skin to skin contact may continue during your transfer to the postnatal ward and it will not be interrupted for routine procedures.
If there is a medical reason why you cannot give your baby skin to skin contact immediately after birth, your partner can hold your baby skin to skin. If you have a caesarean section under general anaesthetic, skin to skin contact can start when you are alert and awake. Babies that require non emergency transfer to the neonatal unit will be given skin to skin contact and an opportunity to breastfeed before transfer. Babies requiring immediate transfer to the neonatal unit can have skin to skin contact as soon as their condition improves.
Baby led feeding means that no restrictions are placed on the frequency or duration of breastfeeds for healthy babies. If there is a medical reason why your baby needs scheduled feeding, this will be discussed with you. Your baby is likely to want to feed at least six to eight times in 24 hours, which includes at least once during the night.
Breastfeeding is nature’s way of making you take it easy for the first few weeks after the birth. This is good as your body undergoes huge changes in the days following the birth and lots of rest will help you to recover.
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