What is breastfeeding after birth like? Will baby know what to do? Will I know what to do? Here’s my story of breastfeeding after birth for the very first time.
Breastfeeding After Birth
Immediately after I pushed Gabriel into this world I was on cloud nine, but also in a state of shock as I came out of my laborland stupor, and it felt VERY surreal.
When I think about how long we waited until we attempted breastfeeding, I honestly can’t remember time. It’s like time didn’t exist in the world I was in.
Gabriel was born at 11:48 pm and I remember calling my sister-in-law at 3 am on our ride home. During those three hours Gabriel and I attempted to breastfeed two times.
Gabriel’s First Feeding
The first time we attempted to breastfeed I was still on the bed I gave birth in so I would say it was within the first 30 minutes.
It is so important to try to breastfeed in the first hour. If that is not possible, skin-to-skin and kisses is the next best thing.
However, I was not thinking about anything of the sort because I was just going with the flow of whatever happened. I’m assuming my midwife suggested to try to breastfeed… and so I did!
Breastfeeding After Birth Thoughts
Holding a brand new baby you just gave birth to is ridiculously amazing, surreal and a bit intimidating. They are really wiggly and their hands are in their mouths and seem to block themselves from latching on.
I now know that they aren’t getting their hands in the way of their mouth because they are confused, but their hands are trying to find the nipple so that they can latch on. Some babies, if left alone, will self-attach! Especially so in non-medicated normal birthings.
After I gave birth and things settled a bit, my midwife and/or her assistant tried to get Gabriel to latch on my right breast, and I thought he had. After that, they got me up, I got stitched up and then took a shower.
That Latch Tho
I didn’t attempt to breastfeed again until we were getting ready to leave the birth center, Gabriel started fussing, and I initiated a feeding on my left breast. I was fumbling around trying to get Gabriel to latch on and my lovely midwife walked up and pushed Gabriel to my breast as he was trying to latch… and latch he did!
And there was no mistaking that he was latched on.
The suction that I felt around my nipple was strong! Holy cow, THIS was what breastfeeding felt like. I’ll never forget that moment.
A lightbulb went on in my mind, and in Gabriel’s too. It’s like we both had an AHA! moment.
When You Don’t Know What To Do
I am so happy that Gabriel latched on and well before we left our midwives. I have had friends and clients whose babies did not latch immediately, let alone in the first few days. That is very stressful for EVERYBODY.
Always find out the number of a good lactation consultant before you have your baby so that if you run into any trouble you can fix it while the problem is still small.
Write the phone number down and put it on your fridge and in your phone. Go ahead. Yeah, right now. You’ll thank me later!
Here’s a video of a baby latching himself on with mama’s help. It’s a great latch!