If you choose to breastfeed your baby, you should expect to start right after your baby is born. In fact, some experts suggest allowing your baby to try suckling right after the baby gets cleaned up post-delivery. While this might sound like the ideal scenario to get your baby eating and to start bonding right away, you can imagine the looks on your family members’ faces when you tell them to get out of the room so that you can breastfeed. Your baby’s Grandma, Aunt, Uncle and siblings will all be in the room anxiously waiting their turn to hold your new bundle of joy, and you definitely won’t want to start breastfeeding for the first time right in front of all of them. Even when they all leave, you will constantly be interrupted by hospital staff, phone calls, lunch breaks and family visits. These interruptions will leave you with limited baby-bonding time, and will even make you self-conscious about when you can bare your breast.

Depending on how you deliver, you could be at the hospital for up to a week. Because this is prime time to breastfeed, these interruptions could greatly interfere with your schedule. In fact, one study showed that in a 12-hour period, the average woman in the birthing unit at the hospital was interrupted up to 53 times. When you’re stuck in a hospital bed, you never know who is about to walk in, so you’re always on edge when you start to breastfeed. Many mothers say that these interruptions greatly interfered with the success of their breastfeeding. To counteract the interruptions, you should consider using a privacy sign.

Much like a “do not disturb” sign, a privacy sign will let people know that you are breastfeeding and should not be bothered. Of course, nurses still might need to do vital check-ups through the day, but they won’t be barging in without knocking every 30 minutes. Many women reported better breastfeeding experiences when they used a privacy sign. In fact, you should even consider taking the sign home to use in your own house if you have other kids or a larger family.

Breastfeeding is not only an important time for a baby’s nutrition, but it is also an important time for the essential bonding between a mother and her child, and interruptions should be minimized so that the unique experience can be fully enjoyed.

Source: Jennifer Albert et al: An Evaluation of Breastfeeding Privacy Sign to Prevent Interruptions and Promote Successful Breastfeeding. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecological and Neonatal Nursing Volume 40 Issue 3pp. 274-280 June 2011

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