Impact of Birth Practices on Breastfeeding

Speaker: Linda Smith, MPH, IBCLC, FACCE, FILCA


Continuing Education Units

One (1) ICEA Contact Hour, One (1) R-CERP

At the end of this session, the learner will be able to:

  1. Describe birth practices and interventions that influence breastfeeding outcomes.
  2. Explain adverse effects of labor medications and birth procedures on the infant’s ability to breastfeed.

About the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA)

The International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) is a professional organization that supports educators and health care professionals who believe in freedom to make decisions based on knowledge of alternatives in family-centered maternity and newborn care.


Impact of Birth Practices on Breastfeeding


For breastfeeding to succeed, the baby must emerge from birth able to feed; the mother must be able and willing to let her baby feed; lactogenesis must proceed normally; breastfeeding must be comfortable for both, and the surroundings must support the mother and baby as mutual caregivers, an “inseparable biological and social unit” during the baby’s early days and weeks. Epidural anesthesia, induction of labor, Cesarean surgery, and other birth practices affect the baby’s ability to feed, onset of lactogenesis, and the delicate hormone levels of mother and baby that affect every aspect of the mother-child dyad.

Impact of Birth Practices on Breastfeeding

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