The Golden Hour


Have you heard of the golden hour? I’m not talking about that magical time right before sunset when the light is low in the sky and it illuminates the world so beautifully — although the golden hour I’m referring to is just as gorgeous.

I’ll be totally honest with you. I had NEVER heard of it with my first child – let alone did I experience it. Baby was put on my chest, on top of my super fashionable hospital gown, I got to look at his sweet perfect face and then off he went to a warmer, as I gazed longingly at him from across the room. I wanted him in my arms, I wanted to cuddle and smell and discover him. THAT my friends, that yearn, that want to hold your baby, is part of what makes up “the golden hour”.

Every birth is different, and so is every mama — so that desire I’m talking about might not have been there, and that’s okay. But what I have found, is that those who know about it, end up wanting it and enjoying it. There are no disadvantages of this time together.

So, what is this “golden” hour that I speak of? It’s right after delivery when a baby is put onto it’s mamas chest, skin-to-skin, without any interruptions. If it was normal delivery and there was no medical complications to either baby or mom, this can happen right away and you can ask that all procedures be delayed.

It’s all about the chemistry. Literally. 

Our bodies are AMAZING. Not only do we grown, nourish and birth our babies, our bodies are also help us “become” mothers. When a baby is put on a mama’s bare skin after birth, so many things happen, stress levels are reduced for both mother and baby — a lot of work just happened and adrenaline is rushing! This period of time helps slow the production of this hormone and allows for the “love” hormones oxytocin and prolactin hormones to do their thing! Oxytocin plays a huge role in becoming a new mama — it’s released during labor, after and during breastfeeding. The more time we have to cuddle up skin-to-skin with our babies, the more this hormone has a time to help build that mother-child bond!

One of the most interesting things about this “golden” hour — is that if babies are left uninterrupted, they will find the breast and begin to breastfeed automatically! It’s a strong instinct that they have, and while breastfeeding is a learning curve, our babies are designed to search for their mamas milk, and will always find it, given enough uninterrupted time.


Some other pretty awesome stuff that can happen during this time:

  • Skin-to-Skin right after birth also helps regulate baby’s body temperature.  A mothers body can help regulate their baby’s temperature — how fascinating is that!?
  • Our Skin is the largest organ, and during this time, the good bacteria on the mother is picked up by their baby and helps protect baby. 

What happens if you have to have a cesarean? Well, if it’s not an emergency, talk to your doctor about having skin-to-skin right in the operation room! This practice is becoming much more common and more doctors are finding that allowing new moms to have this “golden hour” in the operating room really helps moms feel more included in a birth situation that might not have been their first choice.


Did you do skin-to-skin right after birth? We would love to hear what your experiences with it!

Nashville Fresh 48


Nashville Childbirth Classes & Doula Services is pleased to announce a a Fresh 48 lifestyle photography session add on option to any of our Labor Doula packages

We have teamed up with Anderson Lane Photography, a Nashville based birth photographer, who will come to the hospital, birth center or home within 48 hours of your sweet baby arriving to capture the first moments of your new family. Your doula will be in touch with the photographer and will arrange a time during the daylight hours to have her come for the session, all you have to worry about is snuggling with your sweet baby, the rest is done for you! For $199 You will receive 20 digital images as well as 4×6 gift prints of your session.

 Contact us today to book! 

Encouraging Support & Normalizing Breastfeeding

Things are changing here at Nashville Childbirth Classes & Doula Services. Honestly, we are so excited about it. We want to provide the families of Nashville quality, professional services — but we would be lying if we said it’s all business around here. We are truly passionate about providing support for families. We feel proud while we watch families grow, watch them educate themselves, use that information to make informed decisions. We feel honored to be invited into their births and to hold space with them during their most vulnerable moments. It is not something we take lightly, we know the families we serve value what we do, and we value them as well.

So this little blog space is going to a place where we share information, stories, ideas, and lessons that have been learned along the way from not only our doulas and childbirth educators, but fellow moms who we have served. If you would like to contribute a story, we’d love for you to get in touchWe hope you enjoy reading as much as we enjoy sharing.

Birth Journey and Lactation Support

Our first post is by a local mama who shares her journey and thoughts about breastfeeding and why normalizing breastfeeding in public is important. We feel so strongly about having adequate support during the first few weeks of breastfeeding, which is why we offer lactation support by a certified lactation counselor and have included it doula packages, make sure all of our postpartum doulas are trained in breastfeeding basics and why we cover it extensively in our childbirth education courses.


Dear nursing moms,

I ask of you, please don’t cover up. I understand that you might not feel comfortable to nurse openly in public yet. That’s okay. It will come to you. You’ll get the hang of it. Becoming a new mom is filled with lots of anxiety, and I can only imagine how it must feel trying to get a shirt up, baby latched, not expose too much, all in one seamless motion. But I am asking you, not to cover up, because I need to look and there are so many other women out there who need to look.

I don’t need to look the way you might think – I am not ogling you or trying to make you feel uncomfortable. I am not disgusted by you feeding your child out in the open. I need to look because this is the only time I’ve seen nursing. This is the only chance that I will be exposed to a mother nourishing her child with her own body.

You see, I am one of the MANY who grew up without anyone around them nursing. Nursing was NOT normal for me. It was not part of my life when it came to babies. Making a bottle was. And I’ll tell you what: I can make an 8 ounce bottle with one hand in under 45 seconds. I am THAT good, but I do not know first hand how to latch a baby onto my breast, or how to even out over supply. It’s just not something I was ever exposed to. It was not something that was talked about in my little circle of “what to expect when you’re expecting”. The VERY few I “saw nursing” growing up always did it in another room, or under a nursing cover and I never heard a positive word about it. I heard only bad things: How much it hurt. How it ruined your boobs. How you get no help at night. How you can’t even have A GLASS OF WINE! The horrors! Breastfeeding, it’s for the birds. So when it came to the decision of breast of bottle for my own two sons, the answer was easy! Give me a bottle for a baby any day over that awfulness that was breastfeeding.

My family’s move to Europe helped change my ideas: I saw more nursing mamas than formula feeding ones, and it was done without the shame I felt that surrounded nursing moms in the states. No one batted an eye when a mother fed her baby at the table in a restaurant. I was exposed to it so much more, not only by strangers, but for the first time I had friends now that breastfed. It was now a normal occurrence for me to sit across from a woman while she fed her baby and for the time in my life, the topic was a part of our conversation. I realized how much I didn’t know about breastfeeding. And then suddenly, how much I was missing out.

One day, I watched a friend nurse her new baby, and my heart hurt. I longed for a baby at my breast. I was sad that I had missed out on this experience of motherhood. I was sad that I never even tried. It was then that I started reading and researching everything I could about breastfeeding and my views totally changed. I educated myself in every way possible about the amazingness that IS breastfeeding. Around the same time I began becoming involved in the birth community and for the first time, I saw new fresh babies at the breast for the first time – some with a perfect latch and some who’s mamas had to work hard to get it right. I saw toddlers who thought it was more entertaining to see what fun positions they could still get themselves into while nursing. Suddenly, nursing didn’t seem so strange, it was the new norm.

I do not think breastfeeding makes me a better mother. 

I don’t believe in guilt or shame when it comes to feeding your child. You do what’s right for you. I lovingly fed bother of my boys with formula. I brushed their sweet, soft, new skin with my fingertips every night as I rocked them to sleep with a bottle in the other hand. I watched them grow into strong, smart, healthy boys. Motherhood is hard enough, no new mom needs the added stress of wondering if she’s being judged on how she’s feeding her child. Maybe they never tried breastfeeding, maybe they attempted breastfeeding but because of lack of support, or knowledge had to quit because it just got TOO hard. Did anyone ever stop to think: They are doing the absolute best that they can.

It’s because of these reasons I have become passionate about normalizing breastfeeding. I truly feel like it’s something that NEEDS to be seen and that will make a difference in our world. Whether through nursing in public, breastfeeding portraits, or taking a photo yourself and throwing it up on Instagram to share. Women need to support and empower each other instead of judge. There needs to be an open dialogue about the joys and the struggles of breastfeeding. Especially with younger moms who often worry about what pregnancy will do to their bodies because our media has shown a false reality of the postpartum period.

I often wonder “if I had been exposed to breastfeeding, would I have chosen to try it?”. I really believe the answer is yes. I wish so much that someone could have said to me, without sounding pushy or like they were “better” than a bottle mom, It’s so hard sometimes, but it is so worth it. Not just for the baby, but for you” – I think so many more women would.

As I type this my baby girl is kicking away inside of me, she’ll be here in 10 short weeks and I know for a fact I will be breastfeeding her. And although I don’t think it will be easy, I know that I have the help to get over whatever obstacles we face, because of the community of woman I have surrounded myself with.

So next time you’re out in public, if you’re a new mom or a well seasoned one: take a deep breath, take the cover off and proudly nurse your baby. And if you get a look from someone, just smile at them. They might not be looking at you for the wrong reasons, but for all the right ones.


(This story was originally shared on photographer Sarah Cambio’s blog for World Breastfeeding Week, Thank you for sharing with us Sarah & Angela! Angela will be doing a follow up to talk about how her breastfeeding journey went once her baby arrived)

Do you want to be a doula?

Doula Jobs Nashville Becoming

Nashville Childbirth Classes and Doula Services is looking to add labor doulas to work with our team.

We want positive, upbeat, optimistic, happy, hard working, dependable, experienced and  honest women to help us serve the families of Nashville and surrounding areas of Middle Tennessee.

”Our mission is to have fun, be happy, serve, love families, while providing professional and fantastic labor and postpartum doula support that we feel blessed to do”.

We are looking for doulas who are on any step of their journey of helping families reach their goal of having a great birth.

Becoming a Doula

From just an interest in becoming a professional doula to seasoned doulas who are already serving families. If you want to work with a dynamic team, we want to talk to you! We have over 27 years experience working in childbirth from Bradley Method classes to birth/labor and post-partum doula services and breastfeeding consulting. We have a number of women who ask us about becoming a doula. We are glad to discuss the specifics and help you in your journey.


If this sounds like you, or if you know someone who would be a great part of our team, feel free to send an email me to or contact us through the website form.