The breast crawl is a little-known secret that promotes bonding between newborns and their mommies, and can pave the way for a great breastfeeding relationship!
This post is part of the Breast-Kept Secrets: Breastfeeding Advice from One Mom to Another series.
If you’re pregnant or hope to breastfeed future children, this post is for you. Today, I’d like to share with you a breastfeeding secret.
This one tip can help facilitate a successful nursing experience from the time your baby is born.
What is this secret?
Let your baby do the breast crawl.
I had never heard of the breast crawl with my first daughter. And I didn’t blink an eye when the nurses whisked her away to be weighed and measured and pricked and prodded as soon as I delivered her. (No wonder it took my milk 5 days to arrive!)
But, thankfully, I had a wonderful doula that prepared me for the breast crawl during my second pregnancy.
All the breast crawl entails is requesting that your baby (barring no health emergencies) be permitted to lie on your chest as soon as possible after delivery. The baby uses its senses of smell, touch, and taste to find its way to your nipple. After a short period of exploration, the baby eventually locates the nipple and begins to suckle on its own!
Some babies initiate nursing right away, while others might linger to look at you and take in their new environment. Don’t rush this time of bonding! Just enjoy taking each other in and establishing that connection.
When I birthed my second baby in October 2010, my midwife actually let me pull her out.
Once Baby Girl’s head and torso were visible, my midwife said: “Give me your hands. I want YOU to finish delivering YOUR baby.”
And that’s what I did. I pulled my sweet girl from inside of me right up onto my chest.
“Try the breast crawl!” my doula exclaimed.
So instead of nudging her to take the breast, I let her find it herself, latch on and start nursing.
Yes, without medications and given the environment to do so, it can be that instinctive.
And it was wonderful.
Want to try the breast crawl? Tell your doctor or midwife and doula and note it on your birth plan.
Here’s a little video that shows a newborn doing the breast crawl:
Had you ever heard of the breast crawl? Did you do it with your children? Why or why not?
For help with preparing for a natural childbirth, check out the #1 bestselling online childbirth course, Mama Natural Birth Course. It will empower you to have the natural birth you want…and you can watch the course in the comfort of your own home! You may also like Mama Natural’s FREE introductory video on 8 Keys to a Natural Childbirth.