Here are three things I tell all my new moms to do with their babies following the birth. If you're having your baby in a hospital and any of this resonates with you, make sure you add these to your birth plan and let the staff know your wishes.
1. Delay umbilical cord clamping.
Delayed cord clamping means waiting 2-3 minutes after the delivery of your baby to clamp and cut the cord. The cord takes around three full minutes to fully stop pulsing, and during that time the remaining blood in the placenta and cord is intended for the baby's own blood supply. Delayed clamping provides a new baby with extra oxygen, allows more blood flow from the placenta and gives the baby extra iron.
2. Use skin-to-skin contact.
For nine full months your baby has been developing in protective and peaceful sanctuary within your womb. Coming into the world can be a bit of a shock. To make the transition easier for your little one, I always suggest immediate skin-to-skin contact for the first hour or two after birth if possible, and as often as you can for the weeks to follow. Skin-to-skin contact should be done with no barriers between you and your baby. If the mother is unavailable, the fathers chest is the next best place for your baby to be. Placing your baby on your partner's bare chest will also help with the daddy-baby bond.
Why practice skin-to-skin contact?