Welcome little one, your journey was grande and this world is big! Here are a few ways to ease the transition from one world to the next.
1.Delay Cord Clamping and Cutting. This a simple way to gently transition your baby from their internal uterine world to their external uterine world. Delayed cord clamping is allowing the cord to continue to pump oxygen and nutrient rich blood from the placenta to your baby via the umbilical cord for 2-5 minutes or until it stops pulsating. This simple step can increase a newborns blood volume by over 30%, decrease their risk for anemia, increase their red blood cells, stem cells and immune cells and reduce interference to both the mother and babe as they transition between two worlds.
2.Immediate and extended skin to skin contact. Oh sweet warm slippery fresh from the womb babies! There is no greater feeling then your first embrace with your baby and with certainty this sweet feeling is mutual. The benefits of immediate skin to skin contact are widely known and practiced throughout the world. As your sweet babe(s) transitions to their new environment being placed on your bare chest tummy to tummy allows them to regulate their body temperature, regulate their breathing, encourages breastfeeding all the while maintaining a sweet and safe place to bond and get to know each other. As long as both mum and babe are healthy there is no rush to perform any other procedures until a long snuggle and a proper hello has taken place first. Skin to skin contact is encouraged well beyond birth and the benefits to your babe transfer from the mother to partner so encourage both parents if present to soak in as much skin to skin time with their little one as possible.
3.Breastfeeding/Bottle Feeding on demand: Most newborns have an innate ability and desire to suckle for both nutrients and comfort. They are also very clever at communicating their needs. Offering the breast within the first hour of birth when most babies are in a quiet, alert and ready to learn state can encourage lactation, bonding and increase the chances of continuous breastfeeding post birth if breastfeeding is desired. By listening, watching and responding to your baby's feeding cues such as rooting, sticking their tongue out and smacking their lips you are able to provide the same needs they had continuous access to in utero when nutrients were always available via the placenta. Placing your sweet babe skin to skin/tummy to tummy to breastfeed or bottle feed will further ease your little ones transition by continuing to meet their nutritional needs while simultaneously providing all the wonderful benefits of skin to skin contact. Routines will form in good time for now allow your little one to guide you on their needs.
4.Delay their first bath. Most hospitals offer your baby a bath within the first 24 hours after birth. This is a routine procedure that many families are opting out of instead waiting a few more days/ weeks or even months to bathe their babes at home after they have had time to absorb all the benefits their newborn coating provides. Vernix the white cheesy coating on your baby’s skin has many benefits throughout pregnancy, birth and beyond. In utero it acts as a moisture barrier as your baby is surrounded by amniotic fluid while during delivery it acts as a lubricant easing your baby through your birth canal. Its benefits continue post birth by continuing to coat your baby’s skin helping them hold in their body heat and regulate their body temperature, provides antibacterial properties, antioxidants and maintains moisture within their sensitive skin as they transition to their new environment. When you are ready to bathe your babe consider co-bathing to further ease your little ones transition by creating a warm, familiar and safe space to take in a new experience.
5.Overall set the mood. Dim the lights, limit the visitors, eat good food, snuggle in and get to know your baby. You have both been waiting a long time for this!