The moments and hours after giving birth are filled with many different emotions, ranging from joy to discomfort. This is a beautiful time, and an integral time for mother and baby, known as the “golden hour.” This is a pivotal time as the mother will experience her first instance of uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact with her newborn. Should a mother choose to try breastfeeding her baby, this sets the stage for the journey to come.
Based on studies that have shown skin-to-skin contact can promote strong bonds between mothers and babies, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all mothers spend time skin-to-skin right after birth with their baby to promote a more successful breastfeeding experience.
“Skin-to-skin contact creates ideal conditions for the baby to latch and feed in that very important first hour when they are wide awake and ready to bond,” shares Tiffany Bateman, RN, BSN, IBCLC.
The skin-to-skin contact allows the baby to attach itself to the nipple on its own, making the baby more likely to breastfeed exclusively and breastfeed for longer durations. Breastfeeding early on can also speed up the delivery of the placenta, reducing the risk of postpartum hemorrhage (also called PPH).
“Skin-to-skin contact after birth helps the baby to recover from the stresses of delivery whether it be vaginal or C-section. Getting back to hearing mom’s heartbeat, feeling her touch and smelling her scent, helps the baby,” tells Tiffany.
Outside of the delivery room walls, skin-to-skin contact is still recommended to facilitate a deeper bond and aid in the breastfeeding process.
For answers to more commonly asked breastfeeding questions from Tiffany Bateman, click here.
The “golden hour” is respected and valued by the staff at Baptist Saint Anthony’s Hospital. As the only Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternal Services in the regions, BSA helps make your birthing experience your own by providing delayed newborn bathing, opioid-free c-sections, private rooms and childbirth education courses. Moms who sign up for our Very Important Pregnancy (VIP) Perks Program receive additional benefits before, during and after their stay. Learn more about our Childbirth Center and our VIP Perks Program now.