Breastfeeding and Home Birth

A recent study showed a high association with breastfeeding and home birth, from initiation to continued breastfeeding. In the conclusion, they state, “…further research is needed to determine which factor(s) drive the observed differences, to facilitate development of perinatal care that supports breast feeding.”

Without conducting further research, I can tell you exactly why home birth mothers are more likely to be successful with breastfeeding.

Does this mean that every woman who wants to breastfeed for a year or longer should plan a home birth? Of course not. But the stage is set for success much differently at home than it is in the hospital setting.

On a personal note, it was when I did not meet my breastfeeding goals with my first child that I started researching the connection between my birth choices and the sequence of events that led to our breastfeeding difficulties. As I did that research, I realized home birth was the only option (there were no freestanding birth centers in Colorado at that time)  where my birth plan would be honored and my labor would be allowed to unfold as I desired. And so, I changed to home birth midwifery care late in my pregnancy with my second son and never looked back. Without understanding the connection between birth and breastfeeding, I might never have become a midwife. As they say, the rest is history.

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