Skin-to-Skin with Your Baby – How It Benefits Breastfeeding
After giving birth, mother and baby are encouraged to begin breastfeeding as soon as possible. Sometimes breastfeeding can be a confusing and challenging process for mothers. Remember that every pregnancy is different, and your expectations and results will vary with each baby. Even if you weren’t able to breastfeed your prior baby, it can be completely different with your next baby! One proven method which supports breastfeeding is skin-to-skin contact with mother and baby after delivery.
Skin-to-skin contact is when the newborn is placed, unclothed, on their mother’s bare chest, with warm blankets covering the newborn’s back. Whether the mother is planning on breastfeeding or not, skin-to-skin after delivery is recommended. If the mother does intend to breastfeed, the best time to initiate breastfeeding is within the first hour after delivery which is often called “The Golden Hour.” Utica Park Clinic OB/GYN, Dr. Amanda Miles, shares how she supports breastfeeding immediately after birth. “During the first hour after delivery, I recommend skin-to-skin contact between mom and baby to begin bonding and breastfeeding. This helps initiate nursing as soon as possible after delivery,” she says. Skin-to-skin contact with your baby is a great way to bond and increase your oxytocin levels, which increases milk supply. Oxytocin is a naturally occurring hormone that causes new moms to form a loving bond with their baby after birth. This hormone also communicates with the reproductive system during childbirth and lactation, causing the milk to be released into a mother’s breasts. “When I perform a delivery, my goal is to get the baby on mom’s chest as soon as possible, and most of the time, I am able to place the baby on the mother’s abdomen immediately after delivery,” says Dr. Miles.
Dr. Miles sees patients at Hillcrest Hospital Cushing, where skin-to-skin with mother and baby is supported. If mothers are having a difficult time with breastfeeding, there are breastfeeding consultants ready to advise mothers with tips and techniques. Mothers can also attend the prenatal childbirth class on breastfeeding for free if they are delivering at Hillcrest Cushing. This class can be taken before, or after delivery, and focuses on breastfeeding basics, positions, feeding patterns and cues, challenges and solutions and expressing/storing milk. Whether you plan to breastfeed for a couple of weeks, or a couple of years, the physicians and staff at Hillcrest Cushing are ready to help you meet your breastfeeding goals.
Utica Park Clinic OB/GYN Dr. Amanda Miles practices at the Utica Park Clinic on the Hillcrest Cushing campus located at 1030 E. Cherry Street. To schedule an appointment please click here or call 918-225-3006.