Baby Friendly Manitoba:  Information for Parents

Breastfeeding Begins At Birth

Breastfeeding: Take Time to Learn
  • During the second stage of labour (delivery stage) your baby will be placed on your bare chest. This is called skin-to-skin.
  • Warm blankets will be put over you and your baby to keep your baby warm.
  • Cuddle with your baby on your chest.
  • Most babies will show feeding cues in the first 30 to 60 minutes after birth.
  • Bring your baby to your breast soon after birth. Some will suck right away;
    others will take a little while.
  • If asked to, give small pushes to push out the placenta.
  • Talk to your baby. He already knows the sound of your voice.
  • Your baby can stay skin-to-skin with you at least until she finishes her first feeding at your breast.
  • Feed your baby frequently—8 or more times a day.
  • After your baby’s first breastfeeding, she may sleep for a few hours so may not feed 8 times.
  • In their second 24 hours, babies wake up a lot to feed—8 or more times a day and, in the beginning, very often during the night.
How Can We Get A Good Start?
  • It is important to put your baby on your bare chest (skin-to-skin), especially in the first few days after birth.
  • Feed your baby frequently—8 or more times a day.
  • After your baby’s first breastfeeding, she may sleep for a few hours so may not feed 8 times.
  • In their second 24 hours, babies wake up a lot to feed—8 or more times a day and, in the beginning, very often during the night.
Signs of Hunger or Feeding Cues
  • Look for signs that your baby is ready to nurse. Feeding cues may include bringing her hands to her mouth, rooting (moves her head as if she is looking for your nipple), mouth opening, lip licking, sucking, clenching fingers and fists over chest and tummy, bending arms and legs, or fussiness. Crying is a late cue—this means you have not noticed the other feeding cues.
Signs of Fullness
  • When your baby is full, she may fall away from your breast, decrease sucking, extend her arms and legs, straighten her arms along her sides, relax her fingers, or fall asleep.
Give your baby only your breast milk.
  • The small amount of colostrum (first milk) your baby gets in the first two to three days is perfect until the amount of your milk increases.
  • You can hand express drops of colostrum to give your baby.
  • Be sure you are in a comfortable position to nurse and get your baby on your breast well—a good latch.
  • Have someone stay with you – in hospital and at home – to help.
  • Make yourself comfortable whenever you are breastfeeding. Have your back, feet, and arms well supported. Put a pillow on your lap and/or under your arm for support. Holding your baby up during the feeding will be uncomfortable and tiring to your arms.
  • Support your breast with your free hand. You can usually let go of the breast once your baby is latched on and sucking.
  • Call your public health nurse or the Health Links/Info Sante 24 hour breastfeeding hotline; Ph: 204-788-8667 OR Toll Free at 1-888-315-9257, which provides breastfeeding phone consultation and referral.
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