From the moment when a baby is born, everything changes. It’s hard to accept that we can’t know exactly what will happen next. The shock, awe, relief, and vulnerability of giving birth will expose new ways of understanding, learning and being. It’s exciting … and naturally a little nerve wracking.
These magical moments after your baby is born have long been referred to as “The Golden Hour” in large part due to the amazement of the symbiotic connection between birthing parent and newborn that promotes wellness for both parties. Sometimes medical circumstances won’t allow for immediate skin-to-skin after the birth of your newborn. While this may cause a sense of worry or even grief, know that after all the work of carrying, growing, laboring and birthing your baby, at your first chance to hold them on the outside, whenever that is, feelings of love and nurturing will take root. And this experience will build the foundation of your parenting journey, one that is uniquely and intimately yours.
The physical birth of a child requires transitional support and nature has designed you and your baby to be the best providers of that for one another immediately after birth. Research has shown that keeping baby skin-to-skin in the first hour (and well beyond) provides numerous benefits including decreased stress for both parent and newborn, temperature regulation of the newborn and increased rates of breastfeeding. While we advocate for keeping babies with their birthing parent immediately after birth whenever possible, let’s be patient with ourselves and our birth experience as we open up to this new unknown. Like that emerging light before sunrise, a sacred time when anything is possible, this new kind of love is born in parenthood and it is truly golden, at any hour.
Casey Selzer CNM
Midwife, Mother and Founder of Parent Craft