The Sacred Hour after Birth

I have been doing a lot of reading and thinking lately about the “sacred hour after birth”. I have had the privilege of seeing a baby born quietly, maybe with a final groan from momma bear. Momma catching her breath after doing some powerful work during labor, and baby slowly opening eyes to peek at this new world. I try to remain silent, observing this beautiful, instinctual dance of discovery between momma, baby, & poppa. Most of us lead hurried lives, full of technology, screens, beeps, chatter. These first moments with your baby are powerful and timeless. They should be respected, and not interrupted for routine procedures. The umbilical cord is still pumping oxygen rich blood to the baby, full of magical stem cells, iron, and minerals. Some cords pulsate for 20 minutes. I observe, but don’t do much during this time. The hat can wait….momma still needs to stroke that wet hair. The weight can weight, as can the facebook updates, and the calls to friends and families. This hour is sacred. Keeping baby skin to skin encourages breastfeeding reflexes. Momma instinctively touches baby, lightly stroking fingers, toes, hair. Baby nestles on mommas chest, listening to her familiar heartbeat and feeling her warmth. This is the best place to be.

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