top of page

Breast Crawl ~ Intuitive Breastfeeding Behavior After Birth

Every newborn, when placed on their mother's abdomen, has the ability to find the breast on their own and to decide when to take the first feed. Allow baby 30-60 minutes to find breast and attach. (1)


- UNICEF, WHO and WABA strongly recommend initiating breastfeeding within 1/2 hour of birth. (1)

- Early initiation prevents 16% of neonatal deaths if all infants were breastfed from day 1 and 22% if breastfeeding were started within the first hour after birth. (3)

- The smell of the chemicals on the nipple is similar to the smell of amniotic fluid. This causes the baby to start salivating. (1)

- Prevents future infections by accumulating healthy bacteria and allowing it to colonize skin and intestines. (1)

- Initiates bonding process between baby and mother. (1)

- A baby's kick stimulates the mother's womb to contract, which helps expel the placenta and reduce bleeding. (1)

- Increases skin to skin contact which helps maintain baby's temperature, facilitates in metabolic adaptations and release of oxytocin by mother and improves immediate and long-term breastfeeding success. (1)

- WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months; after which local, nutritious foods should be introduced while breastfeeding continues for 2 or more years. Follow-up formula is unnecessary and not suitable as a substitute for breast milk. (1)