Random awesome things I learned today

  • Babies, when they are rooting around for the breast, navigate not by sight but by feel, with their cheeks and chin. When they find the nipple, they try to align it with their bottom lip, then they open up and scoop it in with their upper lip.
  • Following an unmedicated birth, baby’s strongest urges are to breathe and to suck. They are more likely in the hour after birth to get a good latch and remember how to do it again than they will be again for many days.
  • Oxytocin release is a key factor in preventing or minimizing postpartum blues/depression. Nursing is the most effective way to get that oxytocin after birth.
  • Amniotic fluid and colostrum have the same scent and flavor – baby is learning what your breast tastes and smells like before it’s even born.
  • It’s not especially easy for a newborn to get the whole breathe-suck-swallow thing down right off the bat. Its instincts are strong but it takes a while to get it right, and a little longer to remember how from feeding to feeding.
  • One effective way to calm a frantic newborn so that it can calm down enough to coordinate the whole breathe-suck-swallow thing is to lie it on your chest, skin to skin and talk to it. Wait till it’s calm before you start feeding. In fact, it might just seek out your breast on it’s own!
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