Breast feeding in the nursing home
As discussed on p. 40 the baby’s sucking reflex is strong immediately after birth so, if you are up to it, put your baby to the breast in the labour ward.
Remind the nursing staff that your baby is not to be given anything to drink in the nursery when she is taken away from you after birth. You should really have arranged this with your doctor beforehand, and you must get hi.n to write a note on the baby’s card stipulating no bottle feeds.
She should in any case be brought to you as soon as possible after the initial observation period so that you can put her to the breast. Colostrum is all she needs in the first few days.
If you have had an anaesthetic during the birth and are unable to feed your baby within the first three hours after delivery, she will be given sterile water or a solution of five percent Dextrose water to prevent hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar).
If your baby is rooming in with you, put her to the breast as often as she cries for a feed. If she is in a communal nursery make it clear to the nursing staff that your baby is not to be given feeds of/.ugar water or formula in the first few hours after birth, unless you cannot feed her yourself.
It is also possible that too many sugar water feeds could stimulate the pancreas to start producing insulin too soon, while a milk formula could sensitise your baby’s digestive system and produce an allergic reaction. She could also become used to sucking on a teat and may have difficulty adjusting to the breast which requires a different sucking action, so try to feed her yourself as soon as possible after birth.