Drugs in labour and birth
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Sally Tedstone
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Breastfeeding Expert Midwife and Breastfeeding Educator with UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative
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Birth and Labour

What is a breastfeeding plan?

If you’re hoping to breastfeed your baby, then it’s a good idea to have a plan ready for the first few hours and days after the birth.
In Short
Birth partners need to be aware of the breastfeeding plan so they can make sure the plan is followed if you are too tired to insist. 

It can be really helpful to prepare a ‘breastfeeding plan’ as well as your birth plan. For example, you may want to request that:

  • Your baby is placed immediately between your breasts in skin to skin contact straight after birth (and not wrapped in blankets).
  • The midwife does not cut the cord for around 10 minutes (or around one minute following a caesarean birth)/ or until it has stopped pulsating – this is so your baby can go on receiving oxygenated blood and stem cells from the placenta. Lots of experts agree this is beneficial for many reasons including increased blood flow to the baby, higher levels of red blood cells for the baby, and therefore improved iron levels.
  • Tests or assessments of the baby are either done while you cuddle your baby, or delayed until after you have been in skin to skin contact with your baby for over an hour or until after your baby’s first breastfeed.
  • Your baby is allowed time to seek and search for your breast so that they can self attach for the first breastfeed.
  • Unless clinically indicated, your baby receives no water or formula milk.
  • Your baby is offered lots of breastfeeds to get your milk production going and is allowed to feed during the night.
  • Your baby is kept close to you. Your hospital may have side-car cribs that allow you to feed more easily at night.
  • Your partner can stay with you if you might need help lifting or positioning the baby.

Watch this video which covers the first breastfeed with your baby:

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DISCLAIMER
This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Essential Parent has used all reasonable care in compiling the information from leading experts and institutions but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details click here.