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Colostrum: attachment of the newborn to the breast

Colostrum: attachment of the newborn to the breast

Let’s start from the beginning: the child is born, makes the first cry, the doctor cuts his umbilical cord and puts it on the mother’s chest, close to the nipple. After that, the midwife or pediatrician helps the baby to grab the nipple, sometimes literally putting it in a small mouth, and squeezes out a few drops of colostrum from the breast.

Why do you need it? Since the baby is born absolutely sterile, it is important that the correct microflora be colonized by its gastrointestinal tract. First, he “collects” it, passing through the mother’s birth canal, and then receives it together with colostrum.

As a result, the maternal flora and not the hospital flora enters its intestines. On the other hand, colostrum contains immunoglobulins that protect the baby from environmental influences until he can resist it himself.

So that the baby does not freeze, it is left on mother’s breast for no more than 1-2 minutes (sometimes it is even covered with a diaper so that it is not cold). Then the baby is transferred to the changing table, treated (wash off lubricant, amniotic fluid) and dressed.

And when will the young mother be able to feed him again? Not earlier than two hours after giving birth: during this time the woman’s placenta is separated, examined by a doctor, in addition, the young mother takes time to recover.

Do I need to maintain intervals between feedings? Most experts advise young mothers to take breaks of 1.5-2 hours. While the volume of milk is small (about 5 ml per knock), the newborn easily sucks it out for 5–6 feedings.

If he demands and receives breast constantly, it can lead to nipple cracks. As a result, when milk comes on the 3-4th day, the mother will simply not be able to feed the baby!

Do situations happen when a child is not applied to the breast? This is not done only if, for reasons of health, he can neither breathe nor suck.

Fortunately, this is rare.

So that the doctors could control the situation and in time to understand whether the baby needs additional nutrition, children are weighed twice a day. If the weight loss is normal, physiological (in the first days the child can lose up to 10% of the weight at the time of birth), a little is not fed.

If there is no colostrum at all, the baby cannot suck and the weight decreases, it is given an adapted mixture.

And if the young mother suffered a cesarean section? Surprisingly, the operation is not a contraindication to breast attachment: even if a woman had endotrahal anesthesia and she is sleeping!

While the midwives are busy with their work, the pediatrician simply brings the baby to his chest and helps him to take the nipple. If the young mother was given epidural anesthesia and after the birth of the child she is conscious, she must show the newborn and apply it to her breast.

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