What is the Golden Hour and why is it so important?
The Golden Hour is the first hour post birth where (if there are no complications) baby stays with mamma. This is where Skin to Skin begins, the First Breastfeed, the First Eye contact. This time is precious.
This uninterrupted, low lit, quiet hour is sacred. Oxytocin flies high between mamma and baby, which causes the uterus to contract. These contractions helps with the physiological birth of the placenta. Not only does Oxytocin bring on the light contractions, but it helps to bring on breastmilk.
Colostrum is the first stage of breastmilk. Coincidently it is a Golden like colour. Colostrum is packed with vitamins, minerals, nutrients, antibacterial properties, probiotics and more. Colostrum is the start of Life for a newborn. Colostrum is a VERY small amount of liquid; but it is exactly the right amount needed for a newborn, it doesn’t always come immediately, but continual time at the breast will bring it on.
Babies are not born hungry, but they are born with the primal need to have a first ‘feed’. Babies aren’t hungry for the first 24 hours. When women and families see such a small amount of liquid (colostrum) being produced, they often panic, they feel like their body isn’t working, they feel that their baby is starving… and this is when new parents so often feel that they need the help of formula. Education is so important. A Doula can guide you with this information in antenatal sessions. I will put a post together informing you about the development of breastmilk in the first few weeks post birth soon.
I put ‘feed’ in inverted commas above; this is because breastmilk is not only food! Breastmilk is hydration, comfort, food, antibacterial properties and more. Did you know that if bubby is sick, she/he passes the bad bacteria to the mothers breasts, the milk then forms antibodies to fight off the infection! Wow just wow!
If Mumma can’t breastfeed there is always Donor Milk! Post coming soon regarding this service!
*If mamma has a cesarean birth and needs to go to recovery, mum can still request at least 15mins of Skin to Skin, their partner/children can then have Skin to Skin with bubby while mamma recovers.
Make sure you add The Golden Hour to your Birth Wish List! Have a chat to your healthcare provider at your midwife appointments to ensure that your wishes align with their policies. You can change healthcare providers at any point in your pregnancy!