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Make Breastfeeding Easier By Waiting 12 Hours Before Bathing A Newborn

by | February 11, 2019

A study published in the Journal for Obstetrics, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing suggested that waiting at least twelve hours before giving a newborn baby, could help make breastfeeding easier. Scientists believe that amniotic fluid smells like the mother’s breast and that allowing babies to be exposed to it for longer could help the baby to latch on.

Make Breastfeeding Easier
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Make Breastfeeding Easier By Waiting 12 Hours Before Bathing A Newborn

Nine hundred and ninety-six mothers participated in the study at Cleveland Clinic Hillcrest Hospital. Four hundred and forty-eight babies were given a bath soon after birth, while the remaining five hundred and forty-eight weren’t bathed for twelve hours after being born.

Researchers found that breastfeeding success rates rose from 59.9 percent to 68.2 percent amongst the delayed bathing group of babies.

The lead author of the paper, and nursing professional development specialist at the Cleveland Clinic Hillcrest Hospital Mother and Baby Unit, Dr. Heather DiCioccio says she was inspired to research this subject after noticing that more and more mothers giving birth were asking to delay bathing their newborns.

Dr. DiCioccio had read on mom blogs that amniotic fluid smelled similar to the mother’s breast and that it was better to delay bathing a newborn because it could make breastfeeding easier. The evidence to support these claims was scarce, so Dr. DiCioccio decided to conduct her own study.

Authors also concluded that the breastfeeding success rates could also be connected to the delayed-bathing newborns having skin on skin contact with their mothers sooner than the non-delayed-bathing group. DR. DiCioccio says that it’s now the hospital’s policy to delay bathing for twelve hours.

In an interview with Newsweek, Dr. Dioccio said that the study was limited as it only looked at babies born at their facility.

Got more advice on how to make breastfeeding easier? Share with us in the comments below.

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Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via [email protected]



One Response to “Make Breastfeeding Easier By Waiting 12 Hours Before Bathing A Newborn”

  1. Tracy
    February 11th, 2019 @ 2:24 pm

    Interesting read! Just wrote an article about how incredibly strong a baby’s sense of smell is. This definitely ties in nicely with that. The article encourages mothers to breastfeed… 10 things you probably don’t know about breastfeeding.

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