Just when you thought you knew every reason that breastfeeding is beneficial and beautiful, along comes this video that will both surprise and delight you. Produced by the Global Health Media Project, it shows newborn babies doing the “breast crawl.”
If you’ve never heard of this phenomenon, you’re not alone. It’s basically the process in which a baby — right out of the womb — will crawl and latch on to a mother’s breast unassisted.
The video explains that it’s the baby’s sense of smell that leads her to the breast when placed skin to skin on his mother’s stomach. Amniotic fluid is left on the baby’s hands to help find the nipple, which smells similar. It’s flat out amazing to watch and such a powerful, visual reminder of how natural and instinctual breastfeeding is.
It’s not a new phenomenon; in fact, there’s an entire organization — Breast Crawl — devoted to promoting the practice. It states: “The scientific community, the medical fraternity, health managers, breastfeeding advocates and international health organizations have missed out on a powerful ‘change’ agent for early initiation and hence short and long term breastfeeding success.”
Too often medical procedures and testing — suctioning, swaddling and the like — take precedence after delivery, and the opportunity is lost, even though the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby until after the first feeding.
Of course, this is only an option for those who have uncomplicated, vaginal births, but it’s definitely an option worth discussing with your doctor before heading into the delivery room.