Hi you beautiful, awesome, totally gorgeous mummy to be. Look at you, you’ve grown a whole new person and the time to meet them is so very close. I know you’re nervous but you can do it, however & wherever you birth use the first hour to give yourself and baby the best possible start. This is the magical hour, the hello hour.
Skin to Skin Contact after Birth: The How, Why & Expectation
After birth you and your baby can enjoy resting and bonding together through skin to skin. Don’t worry all normal necessary checks & procedures can still be done with you and baby skin to skin. If this is something important to you make sure it is included in your notes and your midwife is aware. Your baby will be naked and against your skin with a blanket covering you both ensuring baby’s head is not covered by the blanket. Most of all enjoy this special time you f***ing deserve it!
Make sure you get the support you need during this time. The best person to do this is your partner or a close friend. Not only can they support you but they can communicate for you with your birthing and midwife team. Let’s face it you will be exhausted and just wanting to welcome your new baby and hold them in your arms to keep them safe. A partner can also play a part in holding baby skin to skin especially if medication or circumstances have affected you. Create your own love bubbles with baby and those close and important to you. This is your new wonderful family. This is your new baby. This is the start of your motherhood journey.
Benefits for Baby and You – The Why
Your baby will be warmer, calmer, their heart and breathing rates will become regulated. They can still hear your heartbeat. To your baby this is the comforting rhythm that has been their throughout their journey with you. Lots of warm, yummy, snuggly feelings will be shared as the love hormone oxytocin is released and floods you, baby and daddy. Spending this first hour together can also improve your milk supply. Share the love, share the bonding, skin to skin can be shared with all your family members. Enjoy!
The Nine Steps of Skin to Skin- The Expectation
1. Birth Cry – As your baby lungs expand at birth a distinct cry is made.
2. Relaxation – Cover your baby with a warm blanket placed skin to skin with mummy. Your baby will relax their hands and show no mouth movements. They are enjoying saying hello and receiving your love, letting it flow and fill their perfect little self.
3. Awakening – your baby is ready to open their eyes and start making small thrusting movements with their head & shoulders. Baby awakens approximately 3 mins after birth.
4. Activity – About 8 mins after birth your beautiful newborn will begin to make suckling and mouthing movements, this is their rooting reflex.
5. Rest – Its hard work being born and your baby may have periods of rest at any point during activity for the first hour or two after their birth.
6. Crawling – About 35 mins after birth your baby will make their first approach to breast. Periods of action from your baby will result in reaching the breast and nipple.
7. Familiarization – Beginning around 45 mins after birth, lasting about 20+ mins your baby becomes acquainted with you their mummy and the new way of feeding. Your baby will touch, massage and lick the nipple and breast. Encouraging the production of milk and learning the new skill of suckling.
8. Suckling – About an hour after birth your baby will self-attach and begin suckling. Welcome to the world little one you and mummy are making an awesome team.
9. Sleep – Your baby and sometimes mummy fall into a restful sleep about an 1 ½-2 hours after birth. You have both done it! High-fives, hugs and smiles all around the first parts of your new journey together are done.
You have birthed your baby and a mother. Congratulations! This is a favourite quote of mine to remind us we as mummies also are discovering new things about ourselves as well as our babies;
“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.
She never existed before.
The woman existed, but the mother, never.
A mother is something absolutely new.”
Remember mummies these are a guideline. A perfect baby, mother or experience doesn’t exist. Your baby is as unique as you are. If your experience is slightly different or doesn’t follow how you expected it to that is ok. Your journey of motherhood is uniquely yours and finding your authentic version is all that you need.
Nixie Foster - The Motherhood Mentor to high–flying female entrepreneurs and career women. The founder of ‘High-Flyer to Authentic Motherhood in 13 Steps’; a mentorship program to assist you in finding your natural identity as a mother and give new mothers the secure, loving bond with their baby which allows them to confidently be their unique version of motherhood.