Thursday, March 13, 2014

How Soon Can I Breastfeed?

As we think about newborn care, many want to know how soon they can put their baby on the breast. Generally speaking, as long as there are no complications you can breastfeed as soon as you want. There are some women who give birth and immediately put the baby to the breast. If you are able to do this and are comfortable it is a great thing to do as nursing naturally helps with postpartum bleeding by clamping the uterus. Even if you cannot do it right away within the first hour is ideal. 

You need to ask your provider to make sure they are OK with is and check that the hospital does not have any unusual policies. If your provider or hospital are not OK with breastfeeding as soon as possible, you might want to switch if possible, so please ask this early!

If there are complications and the baby is unable to stay with you, start stimulating as soon as you can with a pump or your hands. 

How soon were you able to breastfeed? Share your experience!


  1. With Jamey, I think I waited a little longer to feed, mostly because of uncertainty and family being present. With the others I fed them all within the first hour. I don't remember a huge difference in my milk coming in or anything like that, but I was thankful to be able to get to feed them quickly. With the last two it was so natural and I felt like I barely had to do anything, they just knew.

  2. Great advice! McKenzie had to go to the NICU and was npo for several days. I strongly agree about pumping as soon as possible if you are unable to nurse. We now have a great nursing relationship!

    1. So thankful to hear you were still able to nurse after her going to the NICU! What a blessing for you both.

  3. I nursed all four of my babies within the first hour. With my first child, I did not anticipate the strength of afterbirth contractions when nursing. I've also noticed that my afterbirth contractions were stronger with each child. I learned not to let my pain medication run out before trying to nurse within the first 24 hours, or I would have contractions strong enough to make me cry.

  4. That's a great point, Ashley! I agree with the afterbirth contractions getting stronger each time. Ibuprofen is your friend!


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