Breastfeeding: How to Maximize that First “Golden Hour” with Your New Baby

Many new mothers can be intimidated or nervous about breastfeeding their newborns. The great news is that a healthy baby is ready to breastfeed within minutes of being born. This first hour with your baby is called the “Golden Hour” and here are 3 simple ways to maximize those first 60 minutes to get off to a great start for feeding and bonding with your new baby.

Skin to Skin

Skin to skin is placing your newborn baby, unclothed or diaper only, chest to chest on you after delivery. It is important to participate in skin-skin contact for at least the first hour after birth regardless of the feeding method you have chosen to feed your baby. Skin to skin will calm you and your baby and he or she may also cry less. Hormones are also released that promotes healing and relieves stress for both you and your baby. Your baby’s temperature, breathing rate and blood sugar can also be stabilized by skin-to-skin

Bonding Time

You and your baby have a mental and emotional need for this time to be together during that first hour after birth. This time is crucial for your baby’s growth and development. During this time your baby will acclimate to life outside of the womb with you in a new warm and safe environment. Additionally, this time your baby will learn to breathe, smell you, listen to your voice and discover with your help how to breastfeed.

Baby Led Feeding

Holding your baby skin-to-skin will also allow baby to breastfeed at his or her own time and pace. Your baby has an incredible sense of smell and is very smart. While on your chest, your baby will often do the “breast crawl” and self-attach to your nipple. If you want to see this incredible instinct and more in action click below for a video from Stanford University’s Dr. Jane Morton. Breastfeeding- The First Hour

Breastfeeding Beyond the First Hour

We at Proximity Telehealth know how stressful and overwhelming breastfeeding can be. Sign up here for your FREE guide “Proximity Telehealth Breastfeeding: Week 1” This guide was created by our specialists who are International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) and Registered Nurses. This guide will lay out what to expect during that first week and tips on how to manage problems that arise.

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