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

In the course of my career I have had the amazing privilege of being able to witness many births. Each and every time it takes my breath away to see the strength arise in a woman, to bring forth a new life, and then to see that magical, almost indescribable bond that forms instantly when that baby reaches her mothers arms. The power between a mother and her child is breath taking, and indestructible. Our bodies are amazing.

Placing your new baby skin to skin directly after birth, as you may know and have read about in my previous post “Skin to Skin Kangaroo Care for Newborns”  is one of the most important first steps a new mother can make. We know the benefits this close contact has medically, neurologically, and emotionally on both the new mother and her baby, but what is more fascinating is that there are actually 9 instinctive stages that are intuitively and innately developed within all babies to help them achieve physical and psychological advantages for their growth. I am still amazed each and every time I witness these stages happen in front of me with the birth of a new baby.

Kajsa Brimdyr,  PhD, CLC from the Healthy Learning Project, has done extensive research on the first hours after birth. She states, “When a baby is in skin to skin contact after birth there are nine observable newborn stages, happening in a specific order, that are innate and instinctive for the baby. Within each of these stages, there are a variety of actions the baby may demonstrate. The baby may do one, some, or all of these actions.”

Allowing our babies to do, what the were born to do, without interruption will make for a much smoother transition into this new world for most importantly the baby but also the new mother. When you allow a baby to breastfeed how they know how, without interruption, you allow yourself the opportunity to have a more peaceful, enjoyable breastfeeding experience. Sometimes we need to take a step back, get out of the way, and let nature do its thing.

I encourage you to sit back at see for yourself as your read the compete list and explanation of these very important 9 stages at: You will be amazed at how smart our babies are, even when they are minutes old! Enjoy.


Copyright© 2011 Danielle Gauss,IBCLC – All Rights Reserved.

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