The first hour after a baby is born – known at RMC as “the golden hour” – is one of the most important and crucial hours during a baby’s transition from the womb to the outside world.
This first hour should be a time in which the baby and the mother are left undisturbed so they can bond. There are many benefits to having this first hour after birth – benefits that can impact the baby over a short-term and long-term period of time.
Here, we’ll discuss three of those major benefits and why we at Regional Medical Center focus on keeping baby and mom together for as long as possible immediately after birth.
Bonding Begins Right After Delivery
As soon as the baby is born, he or she needs to be placed with the mother so skin-to-skin bonding can occur.
This crucial contact has several health benefits. Since a baby can’t regulate its temperature as well as an older child, skin-to-skin contact immediately after delivery can help their little bodies regulate themselves with the mother’s assistance.
Contact in the first hour reduces the risk of low blood sugar, regulates the baby’s temperature, and also controls their respiration. Remember: babies are coming from an environment that was perfectly controlled for them for nine months. Being out in the real world is a shock to their systems.
That’s why we encourage all mothers to hold their babies right after they come out so this skin-to-skin contact can occur.
Babies Begin Breastfeeding Naturally
In the 1980’s, researchers and doctors discovered what we now call the “breast crawl.”
This is when a baby is placed on the mother’s bare stomach and instinctively crawls toward the breast to feed.
It’s amazing how we are hardwired to do this, and it’s great to encourage this behavior because it can have profound impact on the progression of natural breastfeeding in the short and long term.
At Regional Medical Center, as a Baby-Friendly Hospital, we believe in the importance of breastfeeding and want to encourage it as much as possible. That undisturbed first hour is critical when it comes to natural, instinctive, baby-led breastfeeding, and can help a mother have an easier, more successful time with breastfeeding going forward.
Attachment Grows in the First Hour
Finally, the all-important bond of attachment between mother and baby is formed in those first moments after delivery.
A baby will spend this first hour getting to know his or her mother. They’ll stare at their mother’s face, smell her scent, feel her skin against theirs, and hear the sound of her voice. You’ll get to do the same with them.
What this intimate connection does is promote the production of oxytocin for both you and the baby, which promotes maternal behavior and encourages affection that is a must for the baby. Mothers who have the first hour to bond with their baby report more confidence in being able to meet the baby’s needs and more comfort with the baby in general.
Babies also benefit because they receive affection more readily and can more easily adapt to the world without the trauma of separation.
Have Your Baby with Regional Medical Center
We pride ourselves on keeping the mother with the baby for as long as possible after delivery, because we know just how important that experience is for the relationship you will build with your child.
A great relationship starts from the very first moment you see your child. We want to help promote that and create beautiful relationships from the very beginning.
Consider having your child with us in our comfortable, state-of-the-art facility with a staff that cares about your family and knows the best things to do for you before, during, and after delivery. Contact us to learn more!