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Golden Hour: Skin-to-Skin Contact

Golden Hour

There are few moments more precious and memorable than when you hold your baby for the first time. Most likely you’ll experience many different emotions immediately after delivery. But when your baby is placed on your bare chest for the first time – one thing’s for sure – you will feel a sense of unbridled joy.

These beautiful moments of skin-to-skin between mother and child are what we like to call The Golden Hour – an extraordinary period of intimacy that will bond you and your baby forever.

Right after birth, babies are often awake and ready to feed. We encourage moms to remain skin-to-skin with baby until after the first feeding at minimum. This helps support a healthy transition from inside to outside life for your baby. In fact, the more contact mom and baby have in the first few hours and days, the better for both of you!

Benefits of Skin-to-Skin Contact

  • Helps prevent heat loss and maintain a normal body temperature for baby.
  • Baby uses less energy, which helps prevent low blood sugar and keeps baby alert and engaged.
  • Brings baby’s heart rate, breathing and blood pressure back to normal after the excitement of being born.
  • Baby is comforted, decreasing stress on baby and need for crying because they know they’re safe and secure with mom.
  • Mother’s skin provides healthy protection from many infections that baby may come into contact with in the early days of life.
  • Increases the chances of an early start and likelihood of long-term breastfeeding success.
  • Helps slow and may reduce overall bleeding for mom after delivery while stabilizing the hormonal shift after birth.
  • Promotes early bonding and attachment between parents and baby.

Keep cuddling skin-to-skin after you leave the hospital – your baby will stay warm and comfortable on your chest, and the benefits of bonding, soothing and breastfeeding likely continue well after birth. Dads can snuggle, too. Fathers and mothers who hold babies skin-to-skin help keep baby calm and cozy.