The Golden Hour begins immediately after baby is born.  It is, the moment of the midwife or doctor puts baby on mom’s chest after birth, the Golden Hour begins.  These are sacred moments and here are 5 activities to make the most of your precious moments.

Bonding

The moment when you lay your eyes on your baby for the first time and see ten fingers and ten toes you begin to bond.  You look at those perfect little lips and the cutest little nose; you are bonding. You feel you didn’t believe you could ever love someone so fiercely until this moment right here! Noticing how your baby has your lips and his eyebrows and grandpa’s ears.  Hello there love, and welcome to the world. This is bonding. This is strengthening your attachment to your baby. During the golden hour many families instantly forge a strong bond to their babies. For some moms the process is not as quick. However, meeting the baby and seeing you and yours in him is an important part of bonding.

Skin to Skin

When baby is placed between mom’s breasts on her chest the first hour after birth their body temperature regulates, supports lung functioning, supports breastfeeding initiation, reduces crying, calms mom and baby as well as promotes an easier transition from the womb.  Skin to skin is also important for dads. Studies have shown babies and dads having skin to skin within two hours after birth having a neurological impact on dad’s brains.

Delayed Cord Clamping

Delayed cord clamping is waiting 25 seconds to 5 minutes to clamp the umbilical cord promptly at delivery.  The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends delayed clamping 1 to 3 minutes after birth. This allows more oxygenated blood flow to the baby from the placenta.  The blood flow increases iron storage supporting healthy brain development.

Planning for the Golden Hour

Be intentional about your Golden Hour and be sure to include these elements in your birthing plan.  Be sure to communicate your desire for observance of the Golden Hour to your nurses and your provider.  However, it is important to be flexible because everything doesn’t always go according to plan. An example a change in plans maybe, an unplanned C-section.  Skin to skin can still be requested in the operating room.

Breastfeeding Initiation

Babies often times self latch and attach to the breast and begin to feed.  This supports maternal confidence in breastfeeding. Mom’s can learn how to support and hold babies during this first latch and help them with clinical support of the nurses at the bedside.  The more opportunities and support with in the first hours of life increase success and confidence with breastfeeding.

Observing the Golden Hour gives an opportunity for a foundation for health and bonding for your baby’s relationship.  Be intentional and move with love and health at the moment you meet your little one.

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