The Golden Hour After Birth and Breastfeeding

The important first hour, The Golden Hour, after your baby is born.

Skin to skin and uninterrupted contact between mum and baby help your new little one or ones to adapt to the world outside the womb. If mum cannot do skin to skin with her new little one then over to dad, you can do this, too.

There are so many benefits to mum and baby, here are a few:

  • Helps to keep your baby’s temperature stable and keeps your baby warm.
  • Helps to calm your baby
  • Gets breastfeeding off to the best start
  • Helps to protect your baby from infections

Have a look at UNICEF Baby Friendly website for more information.

If possible, in the hour after birth try to keep things warm, quiet and calm, creating a safe environment for mum. This optimises mum’s rise in the hormones oxytocin and prolactin, which help make and release breast milk.

Offering baby skin to skin (mum’s bare chest on baby’s) helps kick start the hormones. If mum is unable to do this, dad can always pop baby inside his shirt, this is sometimes called ‘Kangaroo Care.’

LINK: Skin to skin contact

Remember that tiny tum is only about the size of a tiny marble so baby will take roughly 2.5ml of the first milk colostrum at a feed. No need for lots of milk, just colostrum, which is packed with loads of live enzymes to give baby its first immunisation.

It’s unlikely you will need breast pads until your milk comes in – around three to seven days on average.

Keep things calm and gentle and baby will know that this is a safe place to be.

Welcome your baby. No rush just lots of cuddles will all work towards initiating breastfeeding.