After weeks of longing and waiting, your family is finally complete. It’s time to let everything calm down in the room. It’s all about skin-to-skin time, and creating the best environment for parent-baby bonding. Because the baby recognizes the parents’ voices, the medical staff should retire if everything is normal. The baby wants to hear the parents’ voices and not the staff’s (which can occasionally be interrupted when the staff is happy and congratulates the parents).
Now it’s time for the next phase of the baby’s and the mother’s life. The newborn, guided by instinct, now moves in to feed for the first time. For some, this is an easy journey; for others, it is both complicated and demanding. Be patient and let it take as much time as your baby needs. All babies are unique and different when they are born. They should be respected for this and not forced to follow a fixed pattern.
A newborn’s different stages:
The birth cry stage—Most newborns have taken their first breath and filled the room with crying within 30 seconds.
The relaxation stage—The newborn has stopped crying and rests to gather strength to keep on living. Typically, the baby has not started to look around but lies with closed eyes.
The awakening stage—The newborn starts making small movements with the body, primarily the arms and legs, and pushes the head back and forth a bit.
The activity stage—The newborn moves the body more, tries more frequently to lift the head and now opens the eyes. It’s time to locate the breast because that’s where the baby wants to get.
The crawling stage—By pushing with the feet, the baby can move to the breast. Generally, the woman has helped her baby to locate the breast.
The resting stage—The newborn takes a break in attempting to reach the nipple. This is to gather strength to make it to the final destination.
The licking and familiarization stage—The baby now focuses on the areola and nipple. The newborn has almost reached the final stop, where the baby will find food and survival. It’s time to lick the nipple so that it takes on the proper shape for the baby’s first feed. Sometimes a hand gets in the way and a finger makes its way into the mouth, but the baby is used to this from the time spent in the womb.
The sucking stage—The newborn is almost there. He or she opens wide, latches on to the nipple and starts sucking.
The sleep stage—A long period of sleep begins after the newborn has finished sucking on the breast. It is not uncommon that it will be up to 24 hours before the next feed.
Sources: - Abascal, G., & Huss, M. S. (2018). Att föda. Bonnier Fakta.