A study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Neonatal Nursing found that interruptions from hospital staff and family members in the first day after delivery had a negative impact on breastfeeding. Interruptions included visits from physicians, midwives, nurses, lactation consultants, ancillary staff, photographer, dietary staff, housekeeping, phone calls, and intercom interruptions—plus visits from family and friends!
Twenty-nine healthy mother-infant couples who planned to breastfeed were a part of this study. The number of interruptions and the length of interruptions were recorded. The results are astounding! The average number of interruptions was 54, averaging 17 minutes in length. This comes to an average of about 15 hours in a 24-hour time period! Mothers had 24 episodes of time alone with their babies. Unfortunately, half of those times were less than one minute long!
Mothers felt that the interruptions made it more difficult to feel comfortable offering the breast when they were unsure of who was going to enter the door next!
Mothers and babies need time alone together to connect and get breastfeeding off to a great start. Skin-to-skin contact (also known as Kangaroo Care) and allowing babies access to the breast on their time-table are necessary components for this bonding process.