For full-term babies whose mothers are able to breastfeed, it is recommended that the first feeding take place within the first hour after the baby enters the world.
Why is sooner so much better?
You know that breastfeeding is good for your baby; it helps build immunity and may even aid brain development. But why is it important to start breastfeeding right away?
After all, you just experienced a very draining and demanding physical event as you went through labor. Will it really matter if you wait a little while before jumping into the next challenge? It just might.
Research on this subject supports the benefits of starting your baby on your breast right away for several reasons:
1. The colostrum you produce in the first few days after delivery is rich with immunity-building antibodies, making your baby more resilient to infections and illness
2. Babies who experience skin-to-skin contact with their mothers within the first few hours of life and breastfeed have less trouble latching than infants who spend these hours away from their mom. This means that starting earlier will make breastfeeding easier overall.
When your infant has his or her first feeding, your body begins to produce a greater and more consistent milk supply.