All mammals have mammary glands in the area of ​​the underside of the body. Only in elephants and humans do the paired glands sit in the area of ​​the breast. They produce milk in different fat content (depending on nutritional status) and can thus function differently healthy and constructive. The distance between the birth in the area of ​​the vagina and the chest is about two body lengths of the baby and ideally should be bridged by the baby itself with the help of the instinctive Breast Crawls.

What is Breast Crawling?

After the birth the baby will take his first breeze. Since it can be painful, it starts screaming. Then it opens the eyes and collects the first light impressions. After about ten minutes it will look at the chest and recognize. Reflexes let the baby react now. The saliva begins to flow and it begins with seek movements of both the head and the legs.

With oscillating movements of the head, the lips scan the skin surface of the mother. The fingers begin to grasp and claw and are equivalent to those pumping movements, with which baby animals stimulate the milk strip of their mother, so that the milk shoots into the tissue.

At the same time, the legs try to push the body forward. The knees and toes and the inner edge of the foot brace against the abdominal wall of the mother. This over-the-breast crawl, the Breast Crawling, is the first stage of breastfeeding.

In the beginning, when the mother gives the baby time to find and breastfeed independently, it will work much faster and easier in the following time and bring a greater degree of satisfaction in their relationship to both mother and baby.

Ideally, the mother lies back in a semi-sitting position and puts the baby skin to skin on the abdomen. Already from the birth the child knows this situation, as it has exercised with the body a certain soothing pressure (also with regard to the afterbirth) on the mother. The baby can approach the areola horizontally without having to overcome gravity. Vibrations of the abdominal wall and the voice of the mother, as well as the respiratory movements, heartbeats and above all the warmth and smell of the skin accompany the child on his way upwards along his mother.

If the baby is given time to make the contact himself, to process all impressions and to reach the target at his own pace, the respiratory rate and the heartbeat remain calmer and the togetherness becomes more pleasant.

Function & Task

During the Breast Crawling, which can take one to two hours immediately after birth, the first feeling of hunger arises. The bloodstream notes that the supply of nutrients via the umbilical cord is missing. When drinking, the oral cavity, esophagus and stomach first come into contact with food. Similar to breathing, unfamiliar sensations can even occur to the point of pain.

The baby lies in an advantageous position on the belly below the breasts and is caressed on the buttocks and feet so that the search reflex is initiated. If the breast has been properly grasped and no severe pain occurs, the child does not need to be postponed any further. Otherwise the head should be adjusted a bit. Above all, the nose should not press against the chest, as the baby could fatigue when sucking too fast, if it constantly has to catch its breath.

Both haptic and visual stimuli have led the baby to the chest. Now it is looking for a comfortable head posture to continue to drink with relish. The head ideally falls from the chest to the outside and can be supported with the mother's upper arm. Only after a few sipes does the swallowing reflex of the child begin. If the baby starts to wheeze or stops swallowing, he should be allowed a rest. Every 2 to 3 hours the infant may be offered the opportunity to drink.

Diseases & complaints

To prevent complaints, the mother can take some action. Every mother will drink enough to keep her own circulation steady. Nursing children show a high resistance to gastrointestinal diseases and respiratory diseases. The kidneys work better, wound healing progresses faster and children with congenital heart disease make the nutritious milk easier.

While an oversupply of milk is easier to handle, it could be frozen, a mother with too little milk quickly reaches its limits. In these cases, either a regular massage of the breasts help, increased suckling of the child or in the end diverse additional food.

If the mother has been given narcotic drugs at birth, the baby will not be able to start breast crawling until later, and will seek longer. However, bonding to the mother during this phase should not be interrupted. The weighing and measuring take place later, because the distractions of the environment are already massive. Since it is nice, if nothing bothers the first touch, the first contact.

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