A World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) report issued in February states, “One million babies can be saved each year if they begin breastfeeding within one hour of birth.” According to Mothering.com, “if all mothers began breastfeeding within the first hour it would save one million of the four million newborn deaths. This study from rural Ghana, based on 10,947 breastfed singleton infants, has shown that initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of birth reduced the infants’ risk of death. It also demonstrated a marked increase in risk with increasing delay in initiation. Overall late initiation (after day one) was associated with a 2.4-fold increase in risk. Giving pre-lacteal feeds, i.e. something other than mother’s milk before beginning to breastfeed, also increased the risk of neonatal mortality. The study conducted on babies who survived day one clearly showed that 41% of all babies who die during 2 to 28 days of life can be saved by this simple intervention: beginning breastfeeding within one hour of birth. When the deaths of day one were included, it showed 22% of all neonatal (0-28 days) deaths could be reduced. In India, for example, this means 250,000 neonates can be saved from death annually by just this one act. Initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of birth is the primary and most vital step towards reducing infant and under-five mortality, by reducing the overwhelmingly high neonatal mortality rate.”
My breastfeeding days are over, which I solemnly miss. There is nothing sweeter than holding your child to your breast while they suckle the sustenance of life. For some children, they latch on immediately, still others struggle with the process. I recommended that all new mothers read The Nursing Mother’s Companion,which was required reading by my midwives. The Nursing Mother’s Companionprovides all the information you will need to deal with breastfeeding issues that may arise, as well as an appendix on drug safety while breastfeeding. The Nursing Mother’s Companionmakes a great gift for a new mother! Of course, the La Leche League International is another great breastfeeding resource.
Ami Scott says
I totally agree and I’m so glad that I’ve been able to nurse my youngest daughter as long as I have. She’ll be one next month and this is the longest that I’ve been able to nurse any of them. She had her first meal at less than an hour old and it seems like she hasn’t stopped since. LOL She has had less than an ounce of formula and that’s only because I had to leave her with my father and I was gone longer than intended. He didn’t know what else to do and that’s actually the one and only time she ever consented to take a bottle. That has been a curse/blessing. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. She’s my last little one I plan to cherish this time together as long a spossible.
Jeremiah McNichols says
We love La Leche League. Talk about a service organization that will bend over backwards to help people needing information, advice, or support. When Z was born we had the immediate breastfeeding issues many parents go through as our daughter figured out how to latch. Pediatricians did their best to prepare us to switch to formula before we decided to find a local contact from La Leche League, who helped us calm down and walked us through the process of waiting and helping her learn what to do.
About thirty months later, Z is still breastfeeding! We can’t thank them enough for helping us through that initial challenge.
Jennifer Lance says
My son also had trouble nursing too, but it was related to his congenital heart defect. My midwives said it was lucky I was already an experienced nurser. I didn’t need the La Leche League, as my home birth midwives provided the same service (even offering to spend the night with us), but I have used their website many times.
Ami Scott says
I think if I had known about La Leche with my oldest, I might have actually been able to nurse him. I just had too many problems, and of course listening to my mother stories & superstitions probably didn’t help any. I gave up when he was only about a month old. And the nurses at the clinics shoving large jars of formula in my face didn’t help either. I don’t think hospitals should be so willing to give formula samples away, especially if the mother plans on nursing. My second son I had to wean when I was activated for Iraq, and my oldest daughter up and weaned herself. Bleh
Jennifer Lance says
I agree Ami. One of my family members recently had a baby. The hospital staff undermined her confidence in nursing. Now she nurses and feeds the babe formula. It makes me so angry.