Skin-to-Skin & Crying

A review of over 30 studies on the effect of early (in the delivery room) skin to skin contact on infants and mothers showed that babies who were in skin to skin contact:

*interacted more with their mother,
*stayed warmer,
*cried less,
*were more likely to be breastfed, and
*were more likely to breastfeed for longer duration.

Moore ER, Anderson GC, and Bergman N. Early skin-to-skin contact for mothers and their healthy newborn infants (Review). Cochrane Collaboration. 2007: pg 1-63.

"Crying is a late sign of wanting to nurse. If a mother waits until the baby is crying or until a certain amount of time has elapsed since the last feeding it may be much more difficult to get the infant to breastfeed than when he was in a calmer state."

Neifert MR. Clinical aspects of lactation. Clin. in Perinatology. 1999: 26(2); 281-306.

So do not wait to put baby to the breast, look for the early warning signs of interest/hunger and offer the nipple when baby is alert and opening/closing their mouth. Waiting until the baby is crying increases the risk that baby will be too agitated to latch on, will be swallowing air and making themselves gassy (and more prone to spit up) and decreasing breastfeeding success.

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