Friday, October 10, 2014

Beyond The Golden Hour

It turns out that the first hour after your baby is born, is called "The Golden Hour". New research is showing that the best thing for mom and baby is that baby is placed on mom's chest, and just allowed to be.

Baby kicks and make crawling motions with it's legs, which encourages the uterus to contract and decreases bleeding.

Their skin picks up the healthy protective bacteria from mom's skin, giving him or her a boost to their immune system.

Mom and baby will both start producing oxytocin, which is known to be a bonding hormone.

Baby will even find the way to the breast and begin feeding, all on their own.

This is apparently how we work, naturally, without any help.

Hospitals are even being taught now, how to avoid doing anything to the baby, and instead they are giving them that hour uninterrupted with their moms.

It's so cool.

I didn't get that with Liam. I didn't really get that with any of them, to be honest. But with Reagan, Piper, Bridget, and Ciaran, they were given to me very quickly, and I was able to breastfeed them soon after birth. I remember promising my nurses that of course I would put them in their bassinets to sleep. And then I'd just wrap them up on my chest and we'd sleep together. It was blissful.

Quinn, Brennan, and Liam, however, were all whisked away to the NICU because they were premature. Being separated, sucked.

I did my best. I would wrap them in a sling, and hold them for hours, skin to skin, in the NICU.

I would leave them with something in their bassinet that smelled like me.

I made sure to pump my milk (and waking up to a breast pump at 2 am is so much worse than waking up to a newborn) so that they could have all of the health benefits of breastfeeding, even if they weren't taking the breast. Yet.

I'm sad that I never got that "Golden Hour". But I'm so glad that I had what I did.

I can't nurse Liam anymore, but the smell of me, the feel of my skin and the sound of my voice, these things still sooth and calm him, for which I am incredibly grateful. Sometimes there is truly nothing else I can do for him, but be there, warm and calm.

And it may take a little while, but it always ends up being enough.

The connections we make with our baby, from just that skin to skin contact we have, sets us up for a connection that lasts far beyond infancy.

Your baby may not be a baby anymore. They may not even be a toddler. But don't doubt that bond. You are connected in a way that can only grow and deepen. It's primal, it's ancient, and it's Science.

I love Science.

Please know that there is the ideal, and then there is reality. And the reality is that, if you're trying your best, chances are, you're a great mom. Even if you, like me, didn't exactly have the ideal experience. And please, if you like my blog, click the link below which registers a vote for me, would you? Thanks. You're the best!
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