Breastfeeding After Delivery and Hospital Visitors

Updated on December 16, 2012
J.K. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
41 answers

Hi Mamas! I'm pregnant with my first baby, and there is so much unknown to me. I'm trying to learn as much as I can! Anyway, I am determined to breastfeed, and everything I've read emphasizes how important it is to make the first attempt right after delivery, if possible. So I wanted to try to do this as soon as possible, before I have any visitors in the room. My in-laws are angry and seem to think that this means they won't get to see their grandbaby for hours after the birth (they are not so supportive of my choice to BF). I haven't set any "rules" with them, I just told them my intentions to BF right away.
From what I read it seems like I am able to try to BF immediately, even while the hospital staff are cleaning up and doing whatever it is they need to do. I am delivering in a hospital where the labor/delivery/postpartum takes place in one room and there is no nursery. So I guess I am just looking for your thoughts/experiences with breastfeeding right after delivery, when you called family and when you allowed them in the room. Thanks for your help!
And just to clarify, it's not that I'm afraid of people being around while I BF. They want to come in and hold the baby immediately, and I would just like a few minutes to bond with just my new little family and attempt the first BF before I have to deal with some stressful people.

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Featured Answers



answers from Baton Rouge on

People will be let in when YOU are ready to let them in and not a moment before. If they get pissed off, so be it. They'll get over it.
The important thing is that you do what feels best for you and the baby. Everyone else will just have to suck it up and wait until you're ready.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I breastfed all my kids within a few minutes of them being born after they did the baby clean up but while they were doing the mom clean up. No way in hell anyone was going to be in that room so no one lost baby time.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Seattle on

Whether you breast feed or NOT...

You've been lugging a bowling ball around in your belly, and have then just spent x number of hours in excrutiating pain to deliver said bowling ball.

YOU (anf hubby) get to hold the bowling ball, erm, baby ... before it gets tossed around all over to various people.

It makes it VERY simple if you have a closed birth, or instruct the staff ahead of time to usher people OUT after delivery for a 'few minutes' (read 15-30 or more.

Breast feeding doesn't even enter into it.


Your inlaws MAY be coming from the perspective of the era when moms were heavily medicated, and didn't even SEE much less hold their newborns for 12-36 hours while they slept off the drugs.

Even with a Csection, much less with a standard epidural ... This just isn't true anymore. Drugs have come a looooooooooooong way since those days. The first thing the nurses do is pop him on your belly/chest (and the whisk away for cleanup/weigh measure in the room, and then help latch him on to start your uterus contracting.

It has nothing to do with breast feeding (even moms who are going to be formula feeling from day 1). Its just standard operating procedure. Unless there's something abnormal going on, its just best medical practice.

Your inlaws can chill.

This isn't about them. No matter how excited they are.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

Take the time and space to get you want from this experience. You don't owe anyone anything. Your baby, your timeline, your boundaries.

Anger at your preferences is a pretty strong reaction. My MIL had a similar reaction and it was only the tip of the iceberg, when it came to her expectations regarding "her grandchild." I hope you have a better experience, but it may be helpful to repeat the phrase "we ask you to respect our decision on this" as many times as necessary.

My MIL tried it all, and the best thing I ever did was tell them we'd call when we were home from the hospital and ready to have visitors. Those couple of days gave me the confidence I needed to be the expert on MY baby.

Good luck, and I wish you a better experience than I had with my in-laws. (but if your MIL is pushy and not willing to give the baby back to you, tell her it's time to BF)

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

I didn't want anyone around right after delivery with any of my births, and they just had to deal with not seeing the baby until hours later or the next day. I was exhausted and wanted to be with no one but my baby and husband (and midwives). You do what you feel best, it's not their decision to make and if they are mad at you about your decision, that's their problem.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

And so what if the in-laws don't get to see the baby until hours after the birth. That's not really that unreasonable, is it? When I had my kids, it was just me and my hubby. My parents came later after we'd had our bonding time. His family came later in the evening on the first day. I would tell them you'll call them when you're ready for visitors.

As for the breastfeeding, just tell your nurses that you'd like to nurse right away. They should be fine with that as long as there are no complications during the delivery.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Congratulations! I, too, was determined to breastfeed my daughter as well. We had a great experience with that and she self-weaned at 15 months. I never had to do formula. Here's a few things about my experience that I hope will be helpful:

1) My daughter didn't latch on immediately and wouldn't really nurse. I tried immediately but she just wasn't into it. The nurses made me really nervous about it saying that she should be nursing for a minimum of 15 minutes on each side. They kept wanting me to give her formula. They checked her blood sugar twice to ensure that she was ok and she was fine. I kept refusing the formula because, to my mind, if my milk doesn't come in for a few days anyway, why does she need formula? Those first few attempts at nursing they're getting colostrum, not milk. The minute we got home, she latched on right away and did great.

2) If you don't have a strong community of breastfeeding moms or past bf moms, I would definitely seek one out. It's going to be difficult in the beginning and if this is something really important to you, you want a group of people who will support and encourage you. There were a couple times I struggled and some people at work kept trying to get me to quit saying that formula is just as good. Luckily, my husband, family, and close friends are all huge breastfeeding advocates so I got a lot of great help. I had an appointment with a lactation consultant a week after I left the hospital and it was the best thing I did. I recommend it to every new mom. Sometimes you just need some help. Even though breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, it doesn't always come easily or naturally to you or the baby. That doesn't mean you're a failure or that you can't do it. You just need someone who's an expert to give you some tips.

3) Guard that time with your baby. This is your baby, not your in-laws' baby. Those first few hours are so special and overwhelming and intense. I treasure the memories I have with my husband and our daughter when she first was born. It's not their right to see their grandbaby immediately. It is, however, your right to have that special time with your baby. You will never regret keeping that special.

Best of luck to you!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Bloomington on

You should be able to BF immediately after birth. I had sections & as soon as I was stitched up, they stuck the baby on me. As for your in-laws, if you don't want to be the " bad guy" ... tell the nurses, you want no visitors until you're ready & say so. They will not be shy about telling the in-laws to beat it & won't mention it's your request.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

It doesn't benefit the baby to be passed around minutes after the birth. It benefits the baby to go right to the breast. It also benefits you, by causing afterbirth contractions that encourage the release of the placenta and minimize bleeding. The baby's needs should come first, not the inlaws or other relatives desires.
This is what happens when expectant parents include the family in their plans too much. They can't be at the hospital if you don't tell them you're in labor. They don't need to know ahead of time that they won't be invited immediately into the birthing room. While you are in there giving birth and they are out in a waiting room, they don't need to know the moment the baby is born. Your husband can and should be in there with you and the baby, not out with his family. If they don't know the baby is born til an hour after it happens, they can't give you a hard time. Do what you're going to do, have your husband go out and announce the baby after you have had your mom/dad/baby bonding time and don't discuss this with them or ask their permission ahead of time.
My kids are 17 and 13. Our oldest was born in a hospital. We didn't invite people there, we didn't make calls announcing that I was in labor or that we were on our way to the hospital. We called our families about an hour after the baby was born. I really didn't want any visitors but my husband's parents showed up when the baby was about six hours old. I hated having them there. I went home the next day. My mother came the day after that and I started having other visitors after that. When my 2nd was born (home birth), we didn't make calls announcing the labor, we did not invite people to the birth and we started having visitors when he was about three days old.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Green Bay on

They won't be allowed into the room until you allow them into the room. Believe me, delivery is not a pretty picture and if you are spending recovery time in the same room you delivered, they will need some time to clean things up before letting people in. That whole while while they are cleaning up (you, the room, bedding, etc.), baby will be with you and everything around you will be a blur. They will encourage baby to start nursing ASAP after you deliver as well, so don't worry - there will be time to bond with baby and hubby before they send in the wolves! :-) Cross your fingers that you deliver in the overnight hours...I delivered at 3:30 am and that gave me a NICE break before people were able to come visit that day. Nice recovery/bonding time :-)
Congrats! Good for you for breastfeeding. It is a beautiful, amazing experience...don't let the haters get you down! :-)

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

You might have a little colostrum ready for child soon after delivery but your milk won't come in for one to several days.
(I gave birth on a Tuesday and it was Friday before my milk came in).
Which is ok because the baby won't be hungry for awhile - he just came off the perfect feeding system (the umbilical cord) and it takes awhile to build up an appetite.
The first 24 hrs after birth a baby is pretty exhausted - they've been put through the wringer and squeezed through 10 centimeters.
Our son slept - I could not keep him awake to take the breast for long even after I stripped him down to his diaper.
Of course right when we're ready to go home a day later he was awake and crying - and the crying didn't seem to stop for about 8 weeks.
He didn't actually cry non stop, but I was a nervous 1st time mother and it took us awhile to get use to everything.
The crying actually helps to stimulate the milk let down.
I went to a Mommy and Me meeting 2 weeks after birth and all the babies were crying (except mine - he slept through it) and even with breast shields I was leaking milk all over - my shirt was soaked by the time the meeting ended.
I'm sure the book has lot's of good advice, but immediate breast feeding right after birth - I don't think it makes a difference.
Child's still coughing fluid out of his lungs and getting use to breathing.
While child's getting cleaned up, they'll still be busy with you getting the placenta out, checking for excessive bleeding and stitching up any rips/tears/episiotomy.
You might have plans about how you want everything to happen but try to be flexible.
Births don't always happen by the book.
To have a baby is to eventually realize you only have so much control.
You have to be able to roll with what ever happens.
You'll be fine!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I breastfed my naturally-delivered child within minutes of delivery. The first couple of hours after delivery are NOT really the time for entertaining visitors. Your parts will be on display for quite a while as you deliver the placenta, get cleaned up, possibly stiched up, etc. They will want you up and into the restroom pretty quickly if you do not have an epidural and catheter. That first little time is just for you and those very, very close to you. As in, people that you don't mind seeing EVERYTHING. After an hour or two, things will settle down, baby may sleep, it will be better to meet the family. Your lower half can get covered up. But to be honest, a newborn will want to eat pretty frequently. You need to either get OK with people watching you breastfeed or learn to use a cover. When you are both just learning, it can be tricky to use a cover! Don't feel bad asking guests to turn around! I did this a few times, just told people that I was about to take out a boob, they could feel free to stay but please face your chair over there until I get things situated :) Meeting your baby's needs is the most important thing. You may have to be "selfish" on your baby's behalf by doing whatever it takes to breastfeed- that is absolutely fine, you just make you and your baby comfortable, that is your job as a mom.
Easy way to avoid this- don't tell them when you head to the hospital, just call them when you are ready for guests!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

For a first time mommy, you are commended for wanting to give breastfeeding a try! You will love it. I am very much in support of breastfeeding, as soon as possible after the birth is ideal. Getting support for you to breastfeed your baby is very important. It's crucial that your husband be an advocate for you as birthing a baby brings about many emotions for a new mama. You have every right to tell visitors to hold off. IF it would make you more comfortable, ask your nurses to post a sign on your door at the hospital asking them to see the nurses' station before entering. That way, a nurse can come in, inform you that you have a visitor and IF you don't want that visitor, you can tell your nurse what you want and then she/he can be the "bad nurse" who scoots your visitors away. You are NOT obligated to have visitors. Some people forget what it's like to have a baby, they forget how emotional and exhausted a new mother can get, and all they see is the new baby and forget about you. Look at it this way: your baby was created in private, why not have those first moments after your baby is born be private for just you and your husband to marvel at the wonderful creation you brought into the world? And you know what? You are also not obligated to let anyone hold your baby right away either. I'm telling you the truth, I have 4 children, you will become so territorial with your baby and rightly so. Look at animals in the wild. Do other animals come rushing to a newborn baby animal looking to cuddle with it? No. Mama and baby need special quiet time to bond. This bonding experience is crucial for BOTH of you and especially for breastfeeding to get off to a good start. You need more than a few minutes to bond with your baby. IF by chance you end up having a c-section, it will be at ONE hour before you get to see your baby. You can ask your hospital if they will allow your baby to be brought to you while you are in post op after they do all the newborn procedures like the weight, the eye drops, first shot, etc. My hospital allowed this with my last baby and it was truly the most beautiful experience for me. Also, IF by chance you end up having a c-section, you can also request that ONLY your husband hold the baby until you are brought to your room. I tell you this because I have had 4 c-sections. Not my choice, just how it was....after my first baby was born, and I had to wait a whole hour to hold her, I felt so resentful that my family, all of them, held my baby before I had a chance to. I have pictures of all my family members passing around my baby like a candy dish and I was the last one to hold her. When I had my second one, I informed my husband that nobody but him could hold the baby until I got to my room and the same rules applied to my next two babies. It's your choice, but just think about how you might feel IF you are the last one to hold your baby.

Good luck to you and DO ask for breastfeeding help in the hospital before they discharge you if you have any problems with latching or anything. Ask if your hospital has certified lactation consultants on staff to help. Most hospitals do. And one more thing: don't allow ANYONE to bully you into giving a bottle of formula or pumped milk is you want to breast feed. Giving a bottle too early will confuse the baby and will affect how well the baby breastfeeds and colostrum is the first milk your baby will get from you. Baby has a tiny stomach and the rich colostrum is all that the baby needs. Don't let a nurse tell you that your baby is starving just because your milk hasn't come in. I had a nurse tell me that after the birth of my 4th baby. That is just nonsense. Some women get their milk in a few days, some not until after they go home. Just nurse often, on demand. Don't watch the clock, watch your baby, makes sure he/she is actually sucking. Lot's of babies LOVE the breast as it's a soft warm place to fall asleep.

I do hope you love breastfeeding. I love it. I'm nursing my 4th baby. She is 19 mths old. The longest I nursed any of my children was 3 years 5mths. I hope my current nursling goes longer than that. : )

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

Talk to the nurses when you check in to the hospital. Let them know what you want, what you are concerned about, what you are feeling, etc. They will work with you!!! They are used to this, really. They have worked with many, many first time moms and have dealt with many, many relatives. If they are anything like the hospital staff where I had my boys, they will play police for you. Just let them know what you want. They are there for you!!! If you want just you and daddy, they will make sure no one is allowed in your room!

While many books talk about the importance of breastfeeding immediately, try to relax. It's not necessary. A few minutes, a few hours ... baby will be just fine and still be able to breast feed. Honest! I had both boys via c-section and was able to breast feed both of them right away. My oldest had to be taken to the nursery (he had some issues and was there for 10 days) and had to be given a bottle right away. I didn't see him again for 24 hours. He did just fine!!! I was able to breastfeed him for 7 months and could have done so longer if I had wanted to.

The authors of the books mean well, but there is no reason to frighten you into thinking that breastfeeding won't work if it's not done immediately. Also, the nurses and staff really will help make sure your baby is latching on properly and really eating.

Again, the nurses are there for you!!!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

In my case they positioned baby on my chest for some skin to skin time right away and then the nurses cleaned them up a little, weigh them and all and then encouraged breastfeeding within 10 min or so. Both of my kids only nursed for a few minutes and then we asked our family to come in. The first time you breastfeed you might be flashing everyone in the room, since you are new at it. So, for me it was best to keep it private until I got the hang of it.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

With BOTH of my kids, me and Hubby decided what WE WANT.
Then, we let our family and friends know... AND we also told my Doctor, that we do NOT want visitors, right away.... and the Nurses were also told, and they put a sign on my hospital room door.
But sure, I had a phone in my room, they could call me... and I would answer it IF I felt like it.

As it turned out, both my kids were born via C-Section. One was an emergency and the other was planned.
And, as SOON as I was out of recovery, the Nurses brought my babies to me... so that I could breastfeed. And I did. Successfully.
They did this because, *I* told them, the Doc and Nurses, that I will be breastfeeding.
And YES, I was totally able to breastfeed, as SOON as the Nurses brought my baby to me. I had milk coming out already and my kids did fine with nursing like champs. And they brought my baby to me, EACH feeding. I told them, to. As well.

Me and my Hubby are very private. We... wanted to be alone, with our baby, by ourselves, after I had them.
And we informed our relatives/friends of this.
I also said, that I will be letting them know, when I am up to visitors.
And once I came home from the hospital, I did not want, visitors. I did not want colds/sickness around my infants. But sure I took them to their infant check ups.

It is YOUR DECISION TO DO WHAT YOU WANT WITH YOUR BABY/CHILD. NOT your In-Laws. YOU breastfeed if you want.
They probably do not want you to... because THEY want to give your baby the bottle.
But it is YOUR, decision. YOU are the parent. And if you have pushy In-Laws... you NEED TO get used to, sticking to YOUR ideas with your baby. AND ideally, your Husband... NEED TO BACK YOU UP on it.

This is your baby.
Not theirs.
And you will need to, uphold your own ideas about what you do with your baby. Do not let, your In-Laws command what you do... otherwise, they will CONTINUE to try and boss you around and what you do with your baby/child.
YOU have to instill boundaries.

It does NOT matter, if your In-Laws are not supportive of your choice to breastfeed. It is not their baby. You do what you want.
AND just FYI: in the future, you NEED to keep your own private personal things about your baby and the habits you do with your baby... as YOUR, thing. You do not have to go around, telling your In-Laws about EVERYTHING you decide as a Mom. It is not their business.
Remember that. You are NOT, having to get their "approval" for every little thing you do with your baby or how you raise your baby or how you nurse your baby or how you put your baby to sleep etc.
It is not, their business.

Again, right from the get go, me and my Hubby (he was on the same page as me), made CLEAR with our family/friends, what WE want or do not want.
And my breastfeeding was my, business.
And when/if I wanted visitors, it was my choice and my Hubby's choice.
I was not about to "entertain" visitors/family in my home or hospital room... after I had had my children nor after my c-section.
I took my time.
My kids are late born, and we didn't even go to the family Holiday gatherings that year my kids were born.
And I certainly, did not let everyone... carry around my infant.

It is your right, to do what YOU want.
it is your right, to bond with your baby in your own, privacy.
If your in-laws are pushy and bossy about it... you NEED to get used to, saying, No... and standing up to them.
AND your Husband needs to be on the same page.

You do NOT even have to tell them, when you are going to the Hospital.
You do not even have to have visitors waiting in the waiting room while you are in labor.
You do not even have to tell them, you gave birth, until YOU are ready to call them.
AND you can tell your Doctor and Nurses, you do NOT want visitors... in your room. And they will put a sign up on the door. And not let visitors in. That is what my Doc and Nurses did.

A Tip:
BEFORE you even give birth... you AND Hubby have to sit down together... and decide what to do. ie: he NEEDS to be on the same page as you. You BOTH need to do, what you need to do.
Because if not, you will have angry pouting In-Laws who will ALWAYS irk you and try to boss you around and your child... and your Husband will let them and not stand up to them... to "guard" you, if he is not backing you up and just gives in to them.
He is your Husband. His first priority, is You.
Remember that.
Nothing is worse, than in-laws or relatives that try to command you and your baby, and a Husband that allows it.
Make sure, you do as YOU want.
This is YOUR first baby.
It is your baby.
Not theirs.
Don't get in the habit of thinking you always have to give in to them to please them, and meanwhile you are demoting yourself as a Mom to your baby. You are first, on the Totem Pole.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

When my son was born I didn't breastfeed him until they got done with weighing, cleaning and measuring him. I'm pretty sure if you let them put your child on your chest you could start breastfeeding right away. As far as your in-laws let them be mad. It's your choice to breastfeed not theirs. The thing you have to remember is that your baby may not latch on right away and that is ok. A nurse will help you with how to do it and what position maybe comfortable for you to do so. I recommend that you bring a pillow from home cause for me it was easier to have my son lay on the pillow while he nursed. Congrats on your first baby!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Breastfeeding is a part of having a baby for many women. When both of my children were born, my husband and I chose to begin breastfeeding right away as well. Neither latched for very long, they fell asleep shortly after (tired after the hard work of being born and all), and the rest of the family was in the room in less than an hour. During the time in the hospital, if I started to breast feed either, we just covered that side with a receiving blanket, didn't worry about anything else. They will get over it, it is your and your husbands baby, not theirs.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I didn't call anyone til abt 3 hrs after I delivered then still had time to shower before they came. Don't call them when u go into labor or they will be in lobby for 24 hrs!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Eau Claire on

I chose to do the same. My family anxiously awaited in the guest area...but really, they've waited 9 months...what's another hour? The first BF attempt can take a little longer because you and baby will not know what you are doing, but nurses will be there to help it along. I would absolutely stand your ground with the in-laws, it will set the stage for all the 'advice' they will give you about raising your child down the road. If they are from out-of-town they can wait in the guest area. If they are from in-town, tell them you will let them know when they can visit. I wouldn't want my in-laws looking at my boobs either. Make sure your DH tells them that it is his AND your wish to have the first hour alone with your baby.
After an hour I had breastfed, was feeling much better, and was more than ready to show off my new baby! (fyi, for the 2nd kid, people don't rush to get there (or don't mind waiting the extra hour) since it's been-there-done-that, so it's not really an issue lol)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Congratulations! :)

Please DO take the time when you and the baby are still in the hospital to focus on breastfeeding. For that period and only that period, you will be literally be surrounded by lactation consultants. They'll be feet and minutes, not miles and hours, away. And many new moms and newborns do need expert guidance right at the beginning. Not to mention that the very early milk is "liquid gold." It's one of the single best investments in a baby's health and well-being that you can make.

I'm having trouble thinking of what to say to your in-laws, though, because, I'm sorry, this is ridiculous. I mean, you're making a decision that will make your baby healthy and intelligent for his/her ENTIRE LIFE, and you they want you to un-make it because they don't want to wait around for a FEW HOURS? I mean, what the ???!!!!!!

I do know that it's easier to negotiate with people when they feel valued and appreciated, and if you could think of some special, wonderful job that they and only they are wonderful enough to do, they might have an easier time listening to you. But I can't think what that would be off the top of my head.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Typically if you delivery vaginally you can nurse right away, like mamas said below, and then you still have the cleaning up of yourself to do during that time. Can dad take the baby out to see his family while you are getting yourself together? That seems like it might be the ideal time - you can focus on getting yourself back together and dad can be a proud dad for a couple minutes with his family. Seems like an ideal solution. You can't hold and nurse the baby while you are changing clothes, washing up etc anyway........

For me - I had a c-section and dad took the baby for her first bath etc while I was in recovery. I didn't b'feed for like an hour or two and it didn't affect our bonding at all.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

We called both sets of parents after we went to sleep and woke up again after DS was born. My mom came a week later. MIL came 2 weeks later. Your family can see the baby when you feel it is time. They have absolutely no right to be present any sooner than you want them to be.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Actually, even if you didn't want visitors for a few hours, that would be FINE. I sure wouldn't. Right after birth, I nursed my daughter and then we took a nap. My labor was long and exhausting. The last thing I wanted, was to visit. The in laws came for a short visit five or six hours later.

Decide what's right for you and then, no guilt. You're the one who will be pushing a person out of you, not them.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

bothof my kids were taken away for a while to be cleaned checked weighed and measured.. they are witht he medical folks for 20-40 minutes depending on how they are doing.

during that time they are stitching you up.. and gettting mom back together..

my son did not nurse for the first day. would not refused... nothing to do with it. he ended up nursing great till he was a toddler..

my daughter got the hang of it fairly quickly. by 6 or 8 hours.. she was doing better.

So.. do not get an idea that if you do not nurse the baby the instant it is born.. something terrrible will happen. it will not. many babies are so tired and wiped out from delivery they will not nurse. you may not feel so good either.

baby will not nurse for long anyway.. 5 minutes is a long long time for a newborn... do not stress aobut this detail... grandparent can wait 5 minutes to see baby..

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

This has NOTHING to do with BF it is about Boundaries. You need to tell them that after the 3 of you have bonded you will let them see your child, but not until then. Rinse & Repeat until it gets through to them and even then tell the Nurses and Doctors (and put it into writing) that NO VISITORS UNTIL YOU (not your husband - YOU) SAY SO. You & your child are the patients and you are incharge. Stay strong things will work out but now is the time to start setting those boundaries.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

If your husband is on board and supportive, this can be pretty simple. The nurses will give you the chance to breastfeed right away, as soon as possible. Just have your husband go out to his family to give them the happy news, and he can tell them that they are still cleaning you and the baby up and they will be able to come in as soon as everyone is decent.

The baby will only nurse for a few minutes the first time, and so they probably won't even really notice the short gap in time if no one makes a big deal about it.

I would like to day though, don't be discouraged if your birth experience is not as you planned. My first was a long difficult labor followed by an emergency C-section. I was too exhausted to nurse right away, I pretty much saw him for the first time, then passed out. The first 2 feedings my son had were bottles of formula. However, after some sleep, I did breastfeed him, and continued nursing for the next 13 months. So yes, have a plan and have your husband on board. But also remember that things don't always go as planned, and you may need to be flexible.

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answers from San Francisco on

I think a lot of these parenting books make a much bigger deal out of labor and delivery than it really warrants. I'm not saying it's not important for your baby to be born - obviously it is! - but whether you breastfeed 30 seconds after your baby is born or 5 minutes or even an hour is truly not likely to make any lasting difference. I waited until both of my girls had been weighed, measured, and bathed before feeding them. Newborns don't nurse for very long; they're too tired to latch, and at that point your milk won't be in yet, so it's probably a teaspoon of colostrum that they're getting. That takes about 5 minutes, even with the both of you trying to figure it out for the first time! I remember thinking I couldn't have done it right, because I thought it would be more momentous (or something) the first time I nursed my baby.

I wouldn't worry so much about it. The nurses in L&D are usually great about not having visitors come in until you're ready. A baby who is an hour old doesn't look much different than a baby who is 10 minutes old - I'm sure your in-laws will be fiiiiiine waiting the extra few minutes! With baby 1, I didn't allow my husband out of the room to tell everyone the baby had been born, until I had my pretty robe on, my hair brushed, and some makeup on. No way was I going to pose for pictures looking like I'd been dragged through a bush backwards.

Congratulations and best of luck!!

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answers from Minneapolis on

You have a lot of answers, I haven't read them.. but this is my experience (I've got 3 kids).

I delivered all three vaginally. The first with many interventions (long labor, epidural, monitors internal/external). I was able to nurse before I left the delivery room. My son was latched on within 10 minutes of delivery.

Baby #2 - I had a no drugs water birth. Baby was latched on WHILE my midwife stitched me up. My husband did not call anyone until several hours after baby was born. My Mom was at home with #1 - so I think we called her first.

Baby #3 - same deal - water birth - baby latched on right after I got out of the tub and while I was stitched up.

This is my suggestion - plan to go to the hospital WITHOUT telling everybody on facebook :) I made the mistake of emailing a bunch of friends/family when I went in the first time... then baby wasn't born for over 30 hours... everyone was freaking out because they never heard back from us (we were kind of busy). What if you have a long labor? There is no reason to call your in-laws until you've had the baby. They can come AFTER you've settled in, had a few hours to be with your new bundle.

If they are upset, they'll get over it as soon as they get to hold the baby.

Really - who needs the pressure of people waiting in the hallway for you to push out the baby? That would have been too much for me.

Good luck - and good for your for breastfeeding.

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answers from Appleton on

When my daughter had my grandson, C-section, they brought her back to the room and laid her son, naked except for a diaper, right on her bare tummy, breast area right away. The idea being that he would find her breast and start nursing. Kinda like puppies do --- even though they are blind at birth they find their mother and are able to feed. My daughter was in bed completely covered and no one saw anything.
There will be a lot of excitement when your little one arrives but talk to your nurse at you doctor's office and ask her how to handle the breastfeeding situation at the hospital. I am sure you will be able to talk to a nurse while you are in labor and/or right after the delivery but in all the excitement you might forget. Don't feel embarrassed to talk about anything with your nurse, she has heard it all and has the experience to be able to reassure you that she will take care of it. Nurses are able to tell even the most exuberant grandparents to please go wait in the lounge down the hall so Mommy and baby can nurse or whatever you need at that time.

A little hint once you are home and able to go about town with your baby take a small blanket, a guest towel or even a washcloth with you and use it to cover yourself while the baby nurses. Most states have laws in place that say 'Breast feeding anywhere anytime'; meaning that a resturant manager, for instance, can not ask you to go into a bathroom to nurse as long as you are covered. It happened to me once and I told the restaurant manager taht the bathroom was dirty and smelly and my child was eating her dinner and when I saw him or the other patrons eating in the bathroom my daughter would eat in the bathroom. Shut him right up. This was the days before they had changing tables in public restrooms, I also refused to lay my baby on a public restroom floor to change a diaper. I told them to provide enough counter space or place a table or something in the restroom so mothers could change theirs babies.

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answers from Indianapolis on

The nurses will encourage you to nurse your baby right after birth. It's a terrific bonding experience. I did it with both of my daughters. It will only take a few minutes. Once they are done cleaning you up you should be all ready for visitors. But don't let them stay more than a few minutes. You will need your sleep. Giving birth is quite exhausting.

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answers from Sharon on

Congratulations! Labor and delivery are a little bit crazy, and definitely different for each person! The nurses are great about keeping your wishes with visitors. Tell your in laws the hospital (or even your doctor) has a policy about not allowing visitors in the room for X amount of time or until you give the ok, if that makes it easier for you. You might really regret it if you give in and you only get this chance once! If you want the time, take it! The in laws will get over it! Also, you won't have any milk right after delivery, only colostrum, so it shouldn't take too long to feed the baby. That said, don't be discouraged if it doesn't go well. It is not as easy or 'natural' as everyone might lead you to believe. It takes time for you and baby to learn to nurse. Just try to be patient, and invest in a good nipple cream! And use it faithfully! It was the only thing that saved my breasts in the beginning! Most hospital lactation nurses are great, and more than willing to help you if you need it. With my first baby it was so difficult and I got so discouraged. With my second I was much more relaxed, and I had a good support system in place. It made things so much easier. So don't let your in laws rush you or make you feel up tight. You know whats best for you and your baby! Again, congratulations and enjoy every moment!

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answers from Minneapolis on

I made my family wait at their homes until I was ready for them to visit. My mom sort of ignored me and waited at the car at the hospital (In case something happened...) but waited patiently until I was ready for visitors.

The nurses had me breast feed immediately after birth. He didn't get a whole feeding in, he was just figuring out how things worked. I delivered at 3:45 and I think my mom came into the room around 5 or so.

Make them wait at home. Don't call them right after the baby is born, just wait to call them until you are ready for visitors. Then they won't feel like they are waiting around for hours to see the baby, and you won't feel rushed.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I didn't read the other responses but I did clinicals in ob and if you vaginally deliver they usually place the baby right on your breast. its best to feed within a that time period b/c baby is alert and awake. people will just have to understand this is your time! congrats!

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answers from Utica on

Your baby, your body, your rules! I told my husband that I didnt want anyone except for my older daughter to come and visit while I was in the hospital after having my second and while most of everyone that wanted to come was pissed they just had to find a way to deal with that. If you want that time then take it. You will most likely be all over the place emotionally right after the baby anyway so dont be pressured or bullied into doing anything that will add stress to you or take away from your moment. Also a little food for thought - if you are actually stressed about this I would def. put my foot down because stress can inhibit your ability to breastfeed.
Just tell everyone that you will have visitors when you are ready and if you happen to feel ready 5 mins after the birth great for everyone and if it is 2 hrs later then its 2 hrs later but I would tell everyone how its going to be before you actaully go into labor
Good Luck and Congrats

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answers from San Francisco on

Congratulations!!!! It is absolutely critical for your newborn to have skin to skin bonding if possible and to nurse immediately after being born. Bonding with mother and baby is essential and your inlaws are going to have to get over it. Not only does skin to skin and breastfeeding help baby get the correct temperature, heart-rate, color, tone etc, it helps your hormones come in and get the milk going. Your baby gets to know your smell and learn how to breastfeed. Being born is a tiring experience and I can tell you---you will NOT want to hand over your just born baby to your MIL or anyone else for a LONG time. Baby needs to be with you and NOT passed around. If you look at attachment and bonding, you will see what I am talking about. My advice would be to tell your husband to speak to them when its closer to delivery. He can say " Jess and I have decided that initially after X is born, we would like some quiet private bonding time. I am telling you this to let you know so you know that we won't be up to visitors right away. Jess would like to bond with our baby and this is the best decision for her and our baby. I know you understand and we will certainly call you when Jess and baby are up to visitors.

Then in your birth plan, you let your nurse, doctor, staff know that you want uninterrupted bonding time with your baby and your husband. Then post a big sign on your door. DO NOT ENTER> FAMILY BONDING TIME

I didn't allow ANYONE to visit me or my husband in the hospital. We took that time to get to know our children and to bond. When we got home, I had visitors then but only for very brief periods and I didn't pass the baby around.

I hope this helps you and please don't feel bad about wanting a few minutes to bond. You should take a minimum of 2 hours of uninterrupted time with your baby. Have a lactation nurse come in to help if you need it. You don't need stressful people in your room with your baby period. They can see you a few weeks after baby is born and meet the baby then. Just my 2cents. I have done this with all of my kids and my family and my hubby's family accepted it and for the most part respected our wishes.

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answers from Dallas on

I wasn't able to immediately after, but as long as both of you have no issues (we had a bit of meconium in the amniotic fluid so they wanted to check him out first), you go ahead and do it. Both of you will be comforted by the experience, I'm sure.

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answers from Washington DC on

Start by going to the lactation center now and talking to them about what to expect, different holds, etc. My DD did not latch right immediately, but we nursed for 2.5 years and started out using a nipple shield. Make sure you have a friend or your spouse to support your efforts and not make you feel like you need to give up too soon.

While I do think skin to skin contact is good, there are sometimes circumstances that don't allow for immediate nursing, but that doesn't mean you're lost if it doesn't happen. My sister's son was in the NICU for 3 weeks and she nursed him to about 8 months before she had other problems and went to formula only. So even if things don't go just "so" don't give up. Keep asking questions. Keep finding answers. is good at 3AM when you're not sure what to do.

Tell DH that you need his support to run interference with his parents in the first hours of having your baby, not just for nursing but in general. Depending on how things go, you might be in no shape to have visitors. I had one leg that was numb and couldn't get a shower for a long time. No way did I want my MIL to see me. My mom was there right after I got cleaned up and stitched up and my ILs came the next morning. You can also ask the nurses to run interference for you.

I told my mom to "go get coffee" when I was pushing because I wanted that to just be me and my nurse, OB, and DH. Mom respected that and I don't regret it at all.

There is NO REASON to feel guilty about wanting some time with your newborn. None.

And if they want to feed your baby a bottle, then they don't get to babysit til you are comfortable that they will abide by your wishes and use breastmilk and not formula or water or anything else. Don't let them give your baby water for their own needs. You're going to be Momma now. You overrule them.

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answers from York on

Where I delivered, there were two separate rooms for delivery and then visitors, but... It was REALLY messy in there and we didn't move to our real room till I was ready to stand up, walk to the bathroom, and have a nurse watch me pee. If your in-laws aren't invited in for the delivery, I doubt they would be allowed in before the cleaning up and peeing part is finished. And that's really quite awhile later. It flies for you, but it should be plenty of time in normal circumstances to BF the baby.
A great reason to nurse the baby asap is that's the most awake he/she will be for the next couple of weeks! Emphasize the health benefits to your in-laws and talk about how "we" all want the baby to be healthy.
That said though, labor is crazy and lots happens. Don't be heartbroken if you can't do it right away. It doesn't mean they give the baby formula immediately instead... With my first son, he had to be taken to the NICU because I had a slight fever. He was 8 1/2 pounds, and I was pushing for four hours, so the fever seemed natural to me, but they had to follow procedures and make sure he was okay. So I missed my window with him. We kept at it-though he wasn't a natural at all- and I breastfed him for over a year. We visited the lactation consultants at the hospital several times in the weeks after his birth and they were fantastic. Without their help, I couldn't have done it! With my second son, the contractions were so easy I didn't even notice I was in labor till my water broke. Delivery went so fast the nurses and doctor had to ask my husband my name before directing me to push! This time I had way too much adrenaline to nurse the baby. I was so happy and shocked to see my second son, but my arms were just shaking and out of control for a good half an hour. I was literally swatting at the doctor as she stitched up my tear and asked the nurse to hold my arms down so I would stop it! No way did I trust myself to hold the baby yet! Still, it all worked out! I've been breastfeeding him for the past six months now. It's really hard in the first two weeks till they wake up a little more. I pretty much had to strip both sons down to their diapers to keep them awake to nurse. But after that it gets easier. Don't hesitate to ask for help. Find out how to schedule an appointment with the lactation nurses at your hospital after your release and lean on them. They are great at helping exhausted, hormonal new moms. I even went with my second son one time- after already having BFed my first. It's very tough in the beginning- I was comparing formula ingredients online with son #2 during those first couple weeks- and they are great at talking you down from the ledge so to speak!

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answers from Harrisburg on

Your baby. Your rules. I told my husband that childbirth was not a spectator sport. We didn't call anyone until the baby was born. That way we didn't have visitors for a little while. Something to consider...

Oh...and so what if the grandparents don't get to see the baby for a few hours. In the grand scheme of things...what's a few hours? They are being unreasonable.

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answers from New York on

Breastfeeding is not incompatible with visitors. Have your visitors come when you feel up to it and then nurse the baby when he or she needs to eat. It really is pretty simple. If your visitors feel wierd being there with you nursing then they can leave or get over it. Is the issue that you feel wierd nursing with people around? If so, you will get over that really quickly. It is important to nurse soon after delivery but I had a c-section and didn't nurse until a few hours after and I ended up nursing for a very long time! Don't stress about it and enjoy yourself!

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