Research shows that breastfeeding has many benefits for both you and your baby's health. However, managing breastfeeding in today's fast-paced world can be challenging. Learning about breastfeeding before childbirth can help you in the future. The decision to breastfeed is a personal one. As a young mother, you deserve support regardless of how you choose to feed your child. After childbirth in Switzerland you will always have the support of a breastfeeding consultant to help you make the right decision.
Breastfeeding provides your baby with exactly what they need in the first few months: all the essential nutrients, physical closeness, attention, and support for their immune system and development.
Breast milk – six reasons why it's so special
Breast milk is tailored to a baby's nutritional needs and offers numerous advantages in addition to natural nutrition:
Breastfeeding after childbirth: the first hour is crucial!
The first moment with your baby after birth is special. The first time your baby latches onto your breast is amazing! And not only that: breastfeeding in the first hour establishes the foundation for the entire breastfeeding period! Doctors in Switzerland insist on breastfeeding immediately after birth.
The first breastfeed is a beautiful moment. This intimate experience is essential not only for the bond between you and your baby but also for stimulating optimal milk production and, consequently, the entire breastfeeding period, as researchers have found.
Even if you couldn't give birth naturally, breastfeeding after a C-section is still possible. If, for some reason, you can't breastfeed your baby immediately after birth, such as in the case of premature birth, you can use an electric breast pump to ensure your baby receives healthy breast milk. The same applies to pumping: the earlier you start, the better for increasing milk production.
Four arguments in favor of frequent breastfeeding from the first hour:
Stimulates faster milk production and contributes to early lactation.
This allows your body to produce the optimal amount of milk for your baby more quickly. If you plan to breastfeed for an extended period, there's no better place to start than making sure your baby gets enough breast milk.
It uses high levels of the hormone right after birth.
Immediately after birth, you and your baby have particularly high levels of oxytocin, the "love and happiness hormone." Combined with a lot of physical contact, this contributes to your long-term breastfeeding relationship.
It utilizes your baby's intense sucking reflex right after birth.
Sucking soothes the baby, helps clear their airways of mucus, and stimulates saliva production. Saliva, in turn, contains important enzymes for pre-digesting food.
It gives your baby their "first vaccine" as soon as possible.
Right after birth, your baby receives colostrum, especially rich in nutrients and antibodies that your body has already produced during pregnancy. This helps reduce the risk of neonatal jaundice, as colostrum has a mild laxative effect and acts as a small initial "vaccine" for your baby.
How does the first breastfeeding after childbirth initiate milk production?
Your breast changes during pregnancy to start milk production immediately after birth. After delivering the placenta, your natural progesterone levels naturally drop. Now your lactation cells are ready to activate! In the beginning, a small amount of colostrum is sufficient for your baby. The exact timing of the "full milk production" varies for each mother, typically between 24 and approximately 120 hours after birth. It is especially important now to frequently hold your baby. Remember that breastfeeding is a personal choice, and the support of healthcare professionals and lactation consultants is available to help you make the best decision for you and your baby.