The first hour after birth is often referred to as the magic or golden hour. These terms were given to the first few hours because of the many benefits for mom and baby that occur during this time. If mom and baby are both healthy enough, this time is ideally spent with baby skin to skin with mom.
This time allows for natural bonding to occur and helps with mom’s natural hormone production. Your baby’s first few hours after entering the world are important and spending this time bonding has shown remarkable benefits. A few of the benefits for mom and baby when baby spends this time skin to skin are:
Assisting in mom’s natural production of oxytocin
Helps with baby’s temperature regulation
Promotes early breast feeding
Boosts baby’s immune system
Here are a few ways you can help optimize this important time
There are circumstances when mom or baby are unable to safely experience immediate skin to skin contact. In some cases, infants are born prematurely, require some assistance with breathing or transitioning after birth, or need close observation or monitoring which may delay or prevent skin to skin contact. Sometimes mom’s health or condition after delivery may cause her to be unable to hold infant skin to skin.
If this is your experience, do not feel you have completely missed out on your opportunity to bond or achieve these benefits. As you and/or your baby are healthy enough for skin to skin contact, spending time each day holding your infant skin to skin with you and your partner will provide you and your baby with these benefits as well.