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Breast Crawl

Miriel Smith's avatar Miriel Smith

“Breast Crawl” is the term used to describe the movement that occurs instinctually by a newborn baby moments after birth to move towards the nipple and self attach for the purpose of initiating breastfeeding. Immediately following birth, when newborn babies are placed on their mother's abdomen, they begin to move upward using their sense of smell to search for and find the nipple. The areola smells similar to amniotic fluid that is so familiar to the baby from inside the womb. Babies recognize this smell on their hands and use their hands as a guide to search for their mother’s breast. The process can take up to a little over an hour but can happen much sooner. Many hospitals are beginning to transform their practices to create time and space for this amazing process to occur. This practice is part of the “Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.” From Baby Friendly USA- “The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1991 to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding. It recognizes and awards birthing facilities who successfully implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. The BFHI assists hospitals in giving all mothers the information, confidence, and skills necessary to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies or feeding formula safely, and gives special recognition to hospitals that have done so.” In this particular image the birth took place at home. Many parents are choosing a home birth because they find the uninterrupted time after birth a very desirable advantage that not all hospitals provide.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 2 inches
  • Medium: Water mixable oil
  • Width: 40 inches
  • Year created: 2017
  • Height: 30 inches