Bonding - the unique connection between babies and their parents
Surely you will already have reported or soon report to those around you about the growing happiness in your stomach. Most couples are very excited about becoming parents, may have planned it well in advance or have faced some stumbling blocks to get to the point of pregnancy. For others, it worked quite unexpectedly right away or “just happened”. Whatever your path, you will soon be parents. A new task that, in my opinion, needs to be learned first. It sounds so easy, and yet there will be many hurdles to overcome. It's good that this new section brings many moments of happiness and will let you learn a lot.
Preparing to breastfeed – how a few important pieces of information can make your breastfeeding start easier!
From my point of view as a breastfeeding expert, I would like to take a close look today at what and how the start with the new baby can go optimally, and what I can give you as parents to be prepared for the new happiness. To the fact that as a mom-to-be you will soon be able to feed a little person all by yourself, if you want to. During pregnancy you will look for a midwife and maybe attend a childbirth preparation course. This is important because a midwife will look after you at home after the birth and look after you and the child. Unfortunately, breastfeeding in this context is an issue that is often not discussed intensively in childbirth preparation - in childbirth preparation this is just one of many things that need to be discussed.
There are special breastfeeding preparation courses that give you the optimal basis for a good start in the breastfeeding relationship with your child. Because breastfeeding is often not easy, but with the right preparation it becomes much easier and more relaxed.
The start of breastfeeding – how crucial are the first minutes after birth?
But let's start from the beginning. The first minutes after birth lay the foundation for a successful start to breastfeeding. After a vaginal birth without complications, the baby should be placed on the mother's breast immediately. Important here is the direct skin contact between mother and child. This bonding, i.e. “connection”, creates the basis for a successful breastfeeding relationship. If this does not work out immediately due to complications, it should be made up for with the mother as early as possible. If the father is present in this situation (e.g. the mother is under general anesthesia), he can also take on this important task. Here, too, please make sure skin to skin.
It is unbelievable that your baby finds its way to the breast on its own. Shortly after birth (approx. 30 minutes after) it shows that it can find its way to the breast with small movements and starts to drink alone or with a little support. The child can do this by contacting the skin itself. It uses its childlike instincts and thus reaches the breast itself. The glands next to the nipples/mammaries (Montgomery glands) produce a lupricate that smells similar to amniotic fluid. Your nipple is pigmented darker to make it more visible to the child. Your baby is already using its senses (smell and sight) and instinctively reaches the breast.
The golden hour - how valuable this beginning really is!
If your baby manages to drink in the first few hours, breastfeeding has started successfully. Once your child has found the breast, it drinks its first milk, the "colostrum". The so-called first milk is already produced in the breast from the second trimester of pregnancy in order to give the child the most important things for the first days of life. The colostrum is elementary for the formation of the microbiome in the intestine and is indispensable for a healthy start in life. Colostrum is so valuable and nutritious that in other countries it is even used as a doping for athletes. Therefore, an absolute heartfelt recommendation, also for mums who may not want to breastfeed or not for long: give your baby this “liquid gold” and give it a particularly healthy start in life.
Bonding - more than just cuddling!
Due to the skin-to-skin contact, oxytocin is now continuously released, which starts milk production properly. It is therefore not surprising that bonding is not only important in the first hours after birth, but also in the first few days and weeks. Undress your child and lay it on your naked upper body as often as possible and for as long as possible. Here you regulate the temperature and blood sugar for your child and stimulate digestion. It also has positive benefits for you as a parent. Your cardiovascular system will be slowed down, you can relax and get involved in the new phase of life in peace.
You can also combine your cuddle unit with breastfeeding. In this process, your child is simply using their natural instincts to move to the breast. This natural or even intuitive application has the enormous advantage that it protects the nipples of you mums and demonstrably fewer injuries occur.
With a little preparation you can have a carefree breastfeeding period!
If you stay in bonding for the first few days and often latch your child, you will get into milk production well and can enjoy your baby honeymoon without many worries.
Personally, I can only advise you to invest some time in preparing for breastfeeding during your pregnancy and attend a course or seek individual advice. Unfortunately, the clinics often do not have the time to advise you in detail. But if you already have knowledge in your luggage, you can easily make it to breastfeeding with little support.
To all women who want to breastfeed or who are already breastfeeding: Be confident that you can feed your child for six months and beyond that without adding water, tea or any other food! Trust your gut feeling and learn to do for your child what is good for you as a parent! Demand your rights and snuggle with your new citizen of the earth like crazy!
Your breastfeeding specialist Verena