The Magic Hour was researched by Ann-Marie Widström and her colleagues. It was found that all babies, regardless of sex, ethnicity, race, etc. follow these 9 steps. It usually is seen with skin to skin contact. Even if you do not plan on initiating breastfeeding you and your new baby can reap a lot of benefits from engaging.
- The Birth Cry- this is the cry that happens as your baby’s lungs expand.
- Relaxation- this happens when your baby finishes with their birth cry, they’ll have relaxed hands and no mouth movement.
- Awakening- your baby will exhibit head, eye, mouth, and shoulder movements, along with small thrusts.
- Activity- this is when rooting begins, your baby will show increased sucking movements.
- Rest*- this takes a whole lot of energy for your new baby, resting in between stages is common.
- Crawling- this is when the baby moves closer to the breast (breast crawl!).
- Familiarization- this is your baby becoming familiar with you, typically through breast and nipple stimulation.
- Suckling- this step is where the baby may latch on without any aid
- Sleep- after all that your new baby will be exhausted and take a nap, it’s not uncommon for you to fall asleep too!
If you are unable to engage in skin to skin a partner or support system can volunteer to, the baby will still go through the same 9 stages and reap all of the same benefits. (Aside from being able to actually suckle of course!)