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"The Golden Hour"

Updated: Mar 28, 2020


Hi everyone, I am going to try to write a blog every week and with every post I will deliver facts and tid-bits  along with interesting facts pertaining to breastfeeding and beyond. For the first blog, I decided to touch on "The Golden Hour." If you are familiar with it, then you know how crucial this one hour is.... If not, well...happy reading


     That moment when your baby is placed on your chest or in your arms for the first time is going to be the most remarkable, breathtaking, unforgettable moment you will encounter with your little one. It is the moment you have been waiting for and worked so hard to get to. You have just birthed this tiny human via whatever method that may have been. At first you are going to be in such shock and  there is a HUGE hormonal shift in your body, and then you fall in love! Sometimes the birth attendants sweep baby away for a few minutes to weigh and do some assessments and you are likely going to have some time to get cleaned up and be able to see your toes. But not always, and if you don't want to wait and want to cuddle baby for longer,  then definitely do so! One of the questions I get quite frequently from clients is "well how do I know when to feed my baby after they are born, how do I know they will be hungry? ". I will tell you how: as soon as the care providers are done with the baby, you are immediately going to place baby back on your chest. This is crucial in establishing feedback from the baby and learning your baby's feeding cues. It is also crucial for your baby to smell you and be drawn to your breast.  There is a one hour window in which it has been determined is the best time to establish a feed or latch with your baby. This is why it is called "The Golden Hour."


    Its been scientifically proven by many researchers and breastfeeding care providers that if a latch or a feed can be established with the baby {with uninterrupted skin to skin} within the first hour of life, breastfeeding is more successful with mom and baby.


   Early cues from baby you want to look for while they are on your chest are head bobbing, bringing their hands up to their mouths and trying to suck on them, tongue clicking or sucking, alertness or any noises. Once the baby starts fussing or crying, that is a late feeding cue and it can be more challenging for baby to obtain a successful latch. Therefore, you do want to try and establish a latch in the early stages of hunger cues. Generally,  baby has a distinct period of alertness after they come out, so this is when it is the best time to attempt baby at breast . This is followed by a long period of sleep ( not always though) so this hour is critical. Keep in mind, if you have had a medicated birth, often times baby can be sleepy for quite a few hours after they are born, so more skin to skin and attempts at breast and attempting within the first hour can be even more important in some cases.


    This "Golden Hour" we speak of can be the start of an incredible and beautiful breastfeeding journey for you and baby. If this hour is missed due to complications for mother or baby, there is still time to make up for this. It is possible there could be struggles with achieving a good latch, but not always. If there are difficulties, that is why you have a Lactation Consultant who can help you through the process and lead you and your baby in the right direction. Every drop counts!


I will post a video here for you to watch, of a baby on mom right after birth. This mom had an un-medicated, natural vaginal delivery. This baby does what is called "the breast crawl" within the first hours of life. It is incredible to watch. As mammals we are biologically designed to find our mothers breasts and drink human milk from them. Humans are incredible!


Enjoy the video



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