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The First Hour After Birth: A Baby’s 9 Instinctive Stages

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The First Hour After Birth: A Baby’s 9 Instinctive Stages
By Healthy Children Project

“The first hours after birth are a developmentally distinct time for a baby and there are well documented short and long term physical and psychological advantages when a baby is held skin to skin during this time.”

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Benefits for Babies:
Regardless of how you are feeding your baby, your baby can benefit from skin to skin contact.
Babies are warmer.
Babies are calmer.
Babies can hear their mother’s heartbeat.
Heart and breathing rates are normalized.
Milk supply may be improved.
Other family members can hold and bond with babies through skin to skin holding too!

What To Do in the First Hour with Mother
You and your baby are covered with a blanket. The baby’s head stays out. The baby is naked and not wrapped. You and your baby will rest skin to skin for an hour or two after birth. This is a special time for you and your baby. Necessary procedures and checks are done with the mother and baby skin to skin.

Stage 1: The Birth Cry
The first stage is the birth cry. This distinctive cry occurs immediately after birth as the baby’s lungs expand.

Stage 2: Relaxation
The second stage is the relaxation stage. During the relaxation stage, the newborn exhibits no mouth movements and the hands are relaxed. This stage usually begins when the birth cry has stopped. The baby is skin to skin with the mother and covered with a warm, dry towel or blanket.

Stage 8: Suckling
The eighth stage is suckling. During this stage, the newborn takes the nipple, self attaches and suckles. This early experience of learning to breastfeed usually begins about an hour after birth. If the mother has had analgesia/anesthesia during labor, it may take more time with skin to skin for the baby to complete the stages and begin suckling. 

See all 9 stages HERE.

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