Get Yourself Good Support (and We Don't Mean Bras)
When I had Sasha, aides whisked her away minutes after laying her in my arms. Breastfeeding immediately, which experts say helps form a good nursing foundation, proved impossible for me. I sought breastfeeding help later, but the nurses were either too busy or didn't know enough to be of assistance. The hospital didn't have a lactation consultant, and I left without the resources I needed. Amy Winston, of Wilton, Connecticut, had a similar experience: "The nurses looked at me as though I were asking them to do something well beyond their call of duty."
Smart Steps Before giving birth, scope out services at your hospital. If it's lacking classes or expert guidance, find a lactation consultant and arrange to have her visit you at the hospital. If you deliver vaginally, unless your infant has health issues (a poor Apgar score, low oxygen saturation, or anything that would demand medical monitoring), the nurses should let you breastfeed right away. Ask in advance whether it's hospital practice to remove the baby after delivery, regardless of her health. Moms who have a cesarean may not be able to nurse right after birth due to the logistics of surgery.