March 16, 2007, Newsletter Issue #121: Putting Baby to the Breast

Tip of the Week

Once you can hold and cuddle your baby, put him to the breast even if he's too weak to nurse. The stimulation to the breast will aid in your pumping efforts and it will help your baby to learn or relearn that not all touching is bad. Some babies have an aversion to anything touching their face or mouth after being intubated for a time. You may be able to help prevent this by allowing him the chance to suck on your finger even while intubated. In any case, do not force the issue if the baby doesn't want to nuzzle the nipple. You may need to start slowly, perhaps letting him rest his head on your chest with your shirt down and gradually working up to more skin contact until his face is lying on your chest with your shirt up. Eventually he'll get the idea.

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