As a postpartum nurse, I see many babies swaddled neatly in their cribs while their mother is lying in a hospital bed. When my shift started at 1900, I was told that this mother wanted to breastfeed and was supplementing after every feeding. When I had the opportunity to ask why she was supplementing, she told me that the medical personnel told her to do so just in case her baby was not receiving enough colostrum. In the meantime, her baby was swaddled with a pacifier. I explained that it is not recommended to use a pacifier until breastfeeding is established and that it is recommended to implement skin to skin. Once her baby was calm and skin to skin, I explained the different Zones (Resting, Alert, and Rebooting) and signs of overstimulation (SOS) to the baby’s parents. I also provided the HUG handouts.
I explained that I saw a body SOS when she had jerky movements while crying, when she was swaddled and let go of the pacifier initially. I also explained that in response to her SOS, by her mother implementing skin to skin, the baby could calm down and transition from the Rebooting Zone to the Ready Zone to eat and start a successful breastfeeding session.
After 12 hours, her baby was only fed 5 mL of formula once. I did find the baby with a pacifier at times and reminded her mother to do skin to skin while awake and to feed her often. At discharge, she was breastfeeding and no more formula was documented!
When I see a baby discharged and breastfeeding exclusively from that moment on, I feel a sense of joy to see a mother who is more confident in her ability to breastfeed. In a hospital setting, it is easier to give a mother formula the moment she first asks for it instead of spending the time to help her by showing what normal newborn behavior is and teaching what that particular mother needs to do to be successful at breastfeeding. By incorporating the HUG Your Baby Program into my teaching, I now have a new way to help educate parents about their newborn that directly helps mothers’ breastfeed successfully!