THE POSTNATAL WARD

Healthy Babies

When assessing babies who turn out to be well, there is no need to interfere with the breastfeeding/chestfeeding support they should be receiving. Remember that NICE Guidance recommends that all mothers/birthing parents:

  • Initiate breastfeeding/chestfeeding as soon as possible after birth, ideally within one hour

  • Are encouraged to have skin-to-skin contact with their babies as soon as possible after birth

  • Are advised to have unrestricted breastfeeding/chestfeeding frequency and duration

An understanding of feeding cues will be helpful:

Skin to skin contact in healthy late-preterm and term babies is associated with improvement in all measures of breastfeeding, including breastfeeding for more than 2 months longer than the control group.

NICE Guidance recommends that "healthcare professionals should have sufficient time, as a priority, to give support to a woman and baby during initiation and continuation of breastfeeding"

Note that Public Health England recommends that all exclusively human milk fed babies take a vitamin D supplement from birth, as a precaution.

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