Tips from an LC: The Lactation Video Everyone Should Watch, Pre-Birth!
Some women have a higher chances of risk factors that may delay their breast milk coming in - In this video, we'll discuss what factors can cause a delay in breast milk initiation and what to do.
The Lactation Video to Watch Before Birth!
Transcript: The Lactation Video Everyone Should Watch, Pre-Birth!
Did you know that some women have a higher chance that may delay their milk coming in? In this video I am going to talk about some of the factors which can cause a delay in the initiation of some mothers’ breast milk supply.
You might be surprised to find out that many women fall into one or more of the groups I am about to talk about, many of which are absolutely normal and nothing to be afraid of! But for some women, when they fall into two or more of these categories, it can mean they have a higher chance of not effectively initiating their breast milk supply.
What we know from the research is that the first few hours and days are incredibly important for your breasts to be able to build the milk volumes that you and your baby need for the next six months and beyond. That is why beginning to breastfeed within the first 60 minutes after your baby’s birth is critical, to ensure breastfeeding gets off to a good start for building and maintaining a plentiful milk supply.
Risk Factors to Be Aware Of
So, you're probaby asking: "What are these factors, which could mean I may need more early lactation support?"
#1: This is your first baby.
#2: You are over 30 years old.
#3: You are currently outside of the official height and weight recommendations for your age (a BMI greater than 30).
#4: You are planning or need to have a caearean section.
#5: You have twins or more on board!
#6: You know that your baby is going to be born early or or will need to go to the neonatal unit.
#7: You have diabetes.
So, What Can You Do if You Fall into These Categories?
If you and your baby encounter challenges during these first few breastfeeding sessions, whilst you are at the hospital, for example, your baby is not yet attaching to the breast, or they are sleepy and not able to breastfeed very efficiently, it may hinder your ability to produce ample amounts of breast milk, so you may require a little extra help – and that’s okay!
- Be open! If you have identified that you fall into any of the categories we have just talked about, then it’s advisable to discuss this before birth with your healthcare professional. Check with your hospital to see if there is a lactation specialist you can meet with before your baby arrives or after birth. We have seen in the research that women who receive instruction and support from a lactation specialist are more likely to achieve their breastfeeding goals. Hospital consultations in the hours after birth are an important step to help you begin breastfeeding effectively. Always feel that you can ask for the support you need.
- Be proactive! As part of your birth plan, include your goals for breastfeeding, as well as what you would like to have support with, if things don’t quite go according to plan at the very beginning. Discuss and share this with your healthcare provider.
- Be prepared! If your breastfeeding journey does not quite go as expected, in the first few hours, early interventions and support for you, and your baby, are key during this critical window to build and establish milk supply. Please watch our video "What To Do if My Baby Doesn’t Attach to the Breast in the First Days/Hours After Birth" for more specific information and tips on how to build and establish your milk supply.
Be prepared if your breastfeeding journey does not quite go as expected. In the first few hours, early interventions and support for you and your baby are key during this critical window.
- And lastly, feel empowered! Women who have the knowledge about their own potential lactation risk factors can seek solutions early on which can positively impact their milk volumes. Knowing when and how to seek extra help has the potential to improve the milk production of a tremendous number of women.
By informing ourselves and getting help and advice from a lactation specialist - whether that is your midwife, nurse, or a lactation consultant - can really help a huge amount of women in their breastfeeding journey, making those first few days and weeks much smoother and enjoyable…Just like they should be.
Please find and watch all our other support videos in this lactation series to give you a great overview of breastfeeding and lactation in the first few hours/days and weeks with your new little one!