It’s World Breastfeeding Week (WBW), and this year’s motto, "*** Feeding the 1st Hour -- Save One Million Babies," is emphasizing the importance of breastfeeding during the newborn’s first hour of life.
Breastfeeding in the first hour, according to a 2006 study published in the journal Pediatrics, could save 41 percent of newborns who would otherwise die in their first month of life.
Breastfeeding right away increases the likelihood that babies will continue to breastfeed, and also gives them colostrum, a mother’s first milk. Colostrum, often called the “perfect food for every newborn,” is rich in antibodies and essential nutrients.
Mothers also benefit from early breastfeeding through improved lactation and less loss of blood.
Also part of WBW is the slogan "Welcome Baby Softly." It encourages protecting the first hour between a mother and baby, so they’re able to bond naturally. One of the best ways to do this is by placing the newborn on the mother’s chest, skin-to-skin. During this time, babies actually feel less pain and it’s not uncommon for the baby to intuitively latch onto the *** to feed.
Medical News Today August 1, 2007
Pediatrics March 2006