The power of a kiss is an amazing thing. It can cheer somebody up, wipe away a tear and now bring in your milk even faster. When all animal babies are born, their mother instinctually will lick their baby. They are not just cleaning them, but learning about them and bonding with them. This too is true with a newborn human baby. There are articles and studies written on when a mother and baby are separated right after birth and the correlation between duration of breastfeeding (http://www.internationalbreastfeedingjournal.com/content/7/1/19) . When a mother is allowed to hold their baby immediately after birth skin to skin, then you will notice the natural instincts that happen. She will caress her baby. Touch its little fingers and toes, feel it’s soft skin, and yes kiss her baby too. That kiss doesn’t end there. Each time she kisses her baby, just before she’s going to nurse, she will be telling her brain, ok, its milk making time. It’s kind of like Pavlov and his salivating dog (http://www.simplypsychology.org/pavlov.html). Your brain will just know to make the milk. It’s a little thing I do almost every time I nurse. I’ve noticed that my milk comes down faster than when I’m distracted. I’ve actually tested it. When I’m playing on my phone, or dealing with my other kids, I’ve timed that it takes 2-3min’s for my milk to come down. When I’m focused on my LO and kissing her head, her hand, caressing her hand and paying attention to her, it comes down in as little as 1-2min’s. That’s a big difference for a newborn that may be getting frustrated at the breast. There is also the idea that when a mother kisses her baby, she’s taking the pathogens that are on the baby’s skin and absorbing them into her secondary lymphoid organs like the tonsils, memory B cells specific for those pathogens. These B cells will move to the mother’s breasts where they will change into antibodies for the baby[i]
There is so much to think about when learning how to breastfeed your LO. So take a deep breath and give your baby a kiss.