As you may have heard, delivering a baby is hard work. By the end of labor, you will likely be exhausted. But the end of delivery marks the beginning of what is sometimes called “The Magic Hour.”
It is not necessarily a literal hour – it may be shorter or longer – but it is the time following labor when your nurses will encourage you to have quiet, skin-to-skin contact with your newborn baby. This is often, but not always, the time when your baby will make his or her first attempt at nursing.
Every baby is different during the Magic Hour: some will be delivered hungry and ready to nurse; others will need some more time. When your baby is showing signs of interest, bring your baby to your breast, nose to nipple, and encourage the baby to latch on. A good latch shouldn’t be painful. If you are experiencing pain, don’t be afraid to start over again. Don’t worry if your little one doesn’t figure it out right away. This is a new process for both of you.
Most importantly, take advantage of the expertise around you in the hospital. Nurses and lactation consultants are there to help you and your baby get started. The more successes you have in the hospital, with their help, the more successful you will be when you return home.
Importance of Breastfeeding Classes
One of the best ways to prepare for your first time breastfeeding is to attend a class. A class can help you know what to expect and how to respond to the signs and signals your newborn is sending you.