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Including Breastfeeding in your Birth Plan

The first hour after birth, the first few days and the first two weeks are all really important in getting breastfeeding well established.  When talking with your doctor or midwife about your birth plan, don’t forget to talk about breastfeeding initiation and what’s important to you. 


Making your requests known can help your team better support you.  It can be easy to assume that you will be able to advocate for yourself and your baby when the moment arrives, but in case that isn’t possible, having your goals clearly stated for your support team to assist you with can make things go a lot smoother.  


Birth plan requests that support breastfeeding initiation 


  • Place baby on mom’s chest for uninterrupted skin to skin time immediately after birth, or as soon as mom and baby are both medically stable.

  • Delay weight checks and other newborn screening protocols until after the “golden hour”, and breastfeeding has been initiated.

  • Delay showers/baths for mom and baby until after the first few nursing opportunities. 

  • Delay wiping baby’s hands until after the first few nursing opportunities.  Avoid placing mittens on baby as well.

  • Allow baby time to initiate the breast crawl before adult-led breastfeeding initiation is considered. 

  • Keep baby and mom together during the hospital stay. 

  • Weigh baby 24 hours after birth. 

  • Avoid giving baby milk supplements or artificial nipples to baby without parental consent. 

  • Support and encourage hand expression and/or pumping to be started as soon as possible to start cueing the breasts to make milk for the baby if baby and mom must be separated after birth. 


“Breastfeeding is an instinctual and natural act, but it is also an art that is learned day by day. The reality is that almost all women can breastfeed, have enough milk for their babies, and learn how to overcome problems both large and small. It is almost always simply a matter of practical knowledge and not a question of good luck.”— La Leche League




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