Over the next 12 days I will be sharing the Calm Mama Collective 12 days of Christmas birth facts, tips and information.
And today, on the first day of the Christmas, I give you 1 Golden Hour!
In our hypnobirthing classes in Surrey or online however you have taken your hypnobirthing antenatal class we talk lots and lots about the importance of our birthing hormones, in particular about Oxytocin. This hormone is incredibly important during birth but also postnatally, particularly in the first few hours after the birth of baby.
This first hour after baby is born is known as 'the Golden Hour', sometimes also known as the ‘magical hour’ or ‘sacred hour’ and it is in this hour that the oxytocin flowing from birth and then continuing to flow from skin to skin contact between parent and baby promotes maternal/newborn attachment, reduces maternal and newborn stress and helps the newborn transition to postnatal life.
The golden hour is the practice of placing the newborn baby straight on their parents chest ‘skin to skin’. This keeps all of the lovely oxytocin the birthing person has been creating during labour flowing after birth as well, keeping you in a gorgeous post-birth warm bubble where you and baby can bond and begin your feeding journey. This skin to skin contact also helps baby regulate their body temperature and breathing whilst they adapt to life outside the womb. Remember until the moment of birth the sound of its mother’s heart beat is the only constant sound a baby is used to, so being snuggled up close and still able to hear that heart beat will be very comforting to the newly born infant.
As long as both parent and baby are stable then there is no reason that skin to skin can not still happen even in a birth that is happening in a surgical theatre, whether it be an instrumental or abdominal birth. There is no need for baby to be weighed or bathed during this first hour of life so no need for the baby to be separated from its mother during that first hour unless there is a real medical need for mother or baby.
Of course, by the way, you don’t have to limit this time to only one hour, you can remain there skin on skin with your baby for as long as you like after the birth and in fact many parents find that going skin to skin with their baby even months after birth is still a lovely comforting and bonding experience for you both.