Why breastfeeding should be part of the birth plan
Your pregnancy is proceeding successfully, and it is time to prepare for the birth of the baby. You might want to make a birth plan. If you intend to breastfeed, be sure to include this item in your list.
Breastfeeding the baby in the first couple of hours after birth maximizes the chances of successful breastfeeding and allows the baby to get all the benefits of colostrum – the very first breast milk as soon as possible. Include breastfeeding in your birth plan to help you achieve your goal.
What is a birth plan?
The birth plan is a kind of list that will indicate your options and wishes related to labor, the birth of the baby and actions immediately after birth. It may include your preferences for pain management and postpartum care, actions for cesarean section or complications during childbirth, and, of course, items related to breastfeeding.
Ideally, such a plan should be drawn up well in advance of the expected date of delivery so that you can discuss it with the person who will accompany you during the delivery and the attending physician who will observe you.
You can make a delivery plan in any form, but it’s most convenient to start with a simple list that can be expanded as more information is obtained. You can ask for a sample or birth plan template in your maternity ward or see examples online.
Why is this so important?
The birth plan provides clarity. He will help to conduct a dialogue and create trust between you, the person who will accompany you in childbirth, and your doctor. This is especially useful during labor, when extra questions will be completely useless to you! In addition, if there is a change of personnel during childbirth, such a plan will help new specialists quickly get in the know.
If you intend to breastfeed, discuss your plans with the person who will accompany you during the birth and your doctor during pregnancy. The midwife will add your wishes to the medical record and will be able to recommend where you can get support on breastfeeding.
Drawing up a birth plan also provides a good opportunity to discuss your wishes with the person who will accompany you in childbirth, if you have not already done so. Explain that you need his support in breastfeeding. It should help your baby get breast milk, even if the baby doesn’t go according to plan or you can’t put the baby on your breast immediately after giving birth. Ask him to provide the baby with skin-to-skin contact if you yourself cannot do this, as this will help the baby calm down.
What to include in the birth plan?
When you get to the point on breastfeeding, to begin with, simply express your intention to breast-feed exclusively. Explain that you would like the doctors to do everything possible so that you can breastfeed your newborn baby, and if this is not possible, feed him with expressed breast milk so that you can still start producing milk.
Here are a few examples of what you can indicate in your birth plan to clearly express your desire to breastfeed and successfully start breastfeeding:
I would like to have a baby placed on my chest for skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth, before weighing and washing, if there are no medical contraindications.
If I can’t immediately take the baby, please give it to the person accompanying me in childbirth so that he can attach it to himself, skin to skin.
I would like to be given breastfeeding in the first hour after birth, if possible.
I would like my baby to be given the opportunity to grab the breasts themselves or gently help to do this.
If my child feels bad or we need to be separated for a while, I would like to express colostrum so that the baby can be fed to them from a syringe or cup.
If for some reason my baby is unable to suckle in the first few hours after birth or it will not work out well for him, I would like to be given the opportunity to do double pumping in the first three hours and give the baby expressed milk.
If I need to continue pumping, I would like to have 8 pumping sessions per day to start milk production.
Please do not give my baby milk formula without my consent or the consent of the person accompanying me during childbirth, and after receiving such consent only if there is a medical condition.
Please do not feed my baby from a bottle with a pacifier and do not give him a dummy without my consent or the consent of the person accompanying me in childbirth.
I would like to get help with breastfeeding from a qualified specialist or breastfeeding consultant, if possible.