After you give birth to your baby, there is a sweet space of time when your baby rests on your chest and relaxes. In the first magical hour after birth there are nine instinctive stages that your baby will go through when held skin-to-skin with you. At some point in the first hour, particularly in an unmedicated birth, your baby will start to move and search for your breast. This is the beginning of the dance of breastfeeding that you both will learn as partners over the next few weeks.
We learn by watching, and in our culture most women have not seen another woman breastfeed. Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, wrote an article for Holistic Parenting in June 2015, about a Natural Breastfeeding approach. This is also called Biological Nursing or Laid-Back Nursing. The pictures in the article and the You-Tube videos are a wonderful visual learning opportunity for mothers-to-be and their partners.
Jack Newman, MD provides information on every imaginable breastfeeding question from how to do a breast compression to herbs for milk supply.
The Pioneer Valley Breastfeeding Coalition provides an updated list of breastfeeding clinics, private practice lactation consultants, La Leche meetings and hotline/warmline phone numbers. An IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) will likely visit you in the hospital after your baby is born. Ask for a consultation before you go home even if breastfeeding seems to be going well, and get information about following up with the lactation consultant or with a local breastfeeding clinic. Receiving help early and following up if you have questions will help ensure a good start to your breastfeeding experience.