When should a newborn breastfeed for the first time?

May 14, 2017


Glad to see most people got this one right. The correct answer is A. Ideally, newborns should be breastfed within the first hour after birth. Immediate skin-to-skin contact after birth facilitates breastfeeding. So after birth the baby should be placed immediately on the mother’s chest for uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact. All newborn procedures should be delayed to give the mother and baby an opportunity to breastfeed. To prevent the baby’s temperature from dropping they can be gently wiped while on mother’s chest to remove some of the amniotic fluid, but the hands should remain unwiped. Infants rely on smell, touch, and vision to detect the breast, latch, and breastfeed well. This is why the antibiotic erythromycin, which is placed in the baby’s eyes as a part of newborn procedures in hospitals, is disruptive to breastfeeding immediately after birth. This is also why the baby’s hands, which are coated in amniotic fluid, should remain unwiped after birth. Do not be discouraged if your baby does not latch onto the breast immediately. Most babies latch and begin to actively suck at about 45 min after birth. When newborns are removed from their mothers for even short periods of time, they do not latch and breastfeed as well when reunited.


So it may not seem like a big deal to weight the baby, measure the baby, or bath the baby quickly after birth, but these procedures are very disruptive and should be done at a later time. Unless there is a medical reason for mother and infant separation after birth, they should stay together and breastfeed. Successfully breastfeeding this first time greatly increases the likelihood that mother and baby will be successful breastfeeding long term.

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Welcome to the SOS Lactation Blog!

SOS Lactation was founded to provide families with immediate, quality breastfeeding support. Unfortunately, many mothers are filled with all sorts of well meaning, but inaccurate information. At SOS Lactation you can rely on accurate, evidence-based information to assist you on your breastfeeding journey.

If you are located in the Houston, TX area and would like to schedule a same day            in-person breastfeeding consultation, click here.      


Happy breastfeeding! 



Monday, Feb. 3 :  

Say It With Your Breast!

Breastfeeding meet up

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Vital Family Chiropractic

Tongue Tie Group Series -  This group will meet each Tuesday in Feb. (4th, 11th, 18th, 25th) from 9:30 am -11:30 am  and 12 pm to 2 pm at West U Pediatric Dentistry 

Wednesday, Feb. 12th :

Tummy Time Method Class -

9 am to 10:30 am at Vital Family Chiropractic

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