That sounds pretty serious, is not it? Start breastfeeding in the golden hour. Because what exactly is that golden hour exactly? That's what I thought when I saw the term 'the golden hour' in my first pregnancy. I was still in training as a lactation consultant and of course I went on research!
What is meant by the golden hour?
The first contact with your child in the first hour after your birth is an incredibly important moment for both of you. And because the first hour after the birth of your baby is so very important, it is also called the golden hour. Really a moment with a golden edge, say. But why?
Why is this hour called the golden hour?
First of all, of course, because you first get to know your baby. That is already a moment with a golden edge in itself!
But also because this hour is so precious for the bond between you and your baby. Because exactly in this hour, when your baby is lying on skin right after birth, he goes through nine instinctive innate phases. The special thing is that your baby is not the only one who shows this. Really, all babies around the world go through the same steps when they are allowed to lay skin on their mothers skin immediately after birth. Start an important part of breastfeeding.
Nine instinctive phases in the golden hour
While lying with mom, there are various efforts that your baby can show within the nine phases of the golden hour:
Phase 1: The birth cry
A beautiful sound, the first time you hear your baby.
Phase 2: Relaxation
The moment your baby can recover from the sometimes spicy journey outside. Relaxing lying on your chest listening to your heartbeat.
Phase 3: Awakening
After recovering, your baby wakes up again and slowly moves to the active phase. Your baby can make head movements, open his eyes, show foot activity and move his shoulders.
Phase 4: Activity
Your baby is alert, makes small sounds, sucks on a hand and looks at you, your first eye contact. Because did you know that your baby can see sharply at about 20 cm away? Exactly the distance from your baby to your face. Special is not it ?!
Phase 5: Rest moments
In the first hour after the birth, moments of rest alternate with periods that your baby is active.
Phase 6: Crawling
Your baby crawls to your breasts without assistance, this is also called the breast crawl.
Phase 7: Becoming familiar
Your baby is introduced to you by touching and massaging your breasts and nipples. This is the moment you have to be patient, because this phase can take 30 to 45 minutes. Have faith and let your baby do his thing without help.
Phase 8: Search and suction signals
In this phase, your baby puts himself on and begins to suck. This early experience of learning to drink at the breast usually begins about an hour after birth. So you see that breastfeeding starts as well as automatically.
Phase 9: The first deep sleep
The final stage. After this great start your baby will fall into a deep sleep that can last from 1.5 to 2 hours.
Why starting breastfeeding in the golden hour is important
Because your baby is so awake and alert the first hour after birth, all reflexes work optimally. And thanks to these reflexes, your baby can look for your breast yourself. Your baby just needs to lie relaxed on your stomach and then breastfeeding starts all by itself.
Your baby is programmed to look for your breast. This search for your nipple and the construction is very important. Because if your baby drinks your breast within 1 hour after delivery, he stores it, as it were, in his brain. This imprint is of significance for all other times on the breast.
In this first hour after the birth it is therefore very positive when you really take this time for each other. To relax and to relax. With your baby on your stomach and your partner next to you, you can enjoy each other and the moment of this golden hour together.
Do you want this nice start for your baby?
Then it is useful to include the following points in your birth plan or breastfeeding plan.
- Take your baby right after your birth on your stomach, warmly covered.
- Mute the light and sound so that the transition from your stomach for your baby runs as smoothly as possible.
- Make sure you can have 1 to 2 hours of undisturbed skin on skin contact with your baby.
- Have medical procedures take place on your stomach as much as possible when needed.
- And give your baby the opportunity to find his way to your chest in the first hour.
Because it is really incredible to see how many babies can already be within minutes after birth, do not you think? It is not possible to start breastfeeding at a better time. And remember, the checking, weighing or temperatures of your baby can really be done after this extensive acquaintance.