The Labour and Birth - Effects on Breastfeeding
A normal birth often helps breastfeeding get started early. Although some interventions may delay breastfeeding , you and your baby can always get back on track.
- Can cause breast and nipple oedema, which can make latching difficult, increasing risk of nipple damage and poor milk transfer.
- Morphine - 1/2 life (1.5-2hrs)
- Pethidine - 1/2 life (63hrs)
- Can cause sedation and respiratory depression, causing baby to be too sedated to suck, or may have poor disorganised suck.
- Can stay in baby for up to 3 days
- Affects baby's alertness and orientation
- May cause a delay in milk "coming in"
- Baby misses out on mums natural endorphins which help baby to deal with stress and pain
OXYTOCIN - used to make contractions regular
- Is an antidiuretic, can cause fluid overload = OEDEMA
- May delay milk "coming in"
- Baby may be sleepy, have uncoordinated/weak suck, fewer/shorter feeds =making less prolactin receptors =lower milk supply
- Lower breastfeeding rates and duration
- Associated with delayed breast fullness
- Can make baby too weak and sleepy to feed
- Can damage baby's facial nerves and interfere with feeding reflexes
- Baby may experience pain =stress=poor feeding
Some drugs/interventions can cause a disruption to this hormonal pathway. Skin to skin can normalise these mothering hormones.