What is the golden hour? And why is it important?

What happens after you give birth? Do you just sleep while the nurses take care of your baby? Or will you bond with your little one right after birth? In this article, I will tell you all about the golden hour, and the practices done during this special hour, that will benefit you and your baby mentally and physically.

golden hour

What happens during the golden hour

The golden hour starts from the first minute your baby is born and lasts at least sixty more minutes. Here are the best practices taking place during this hour:

1- Skin-to-skin contact

In the past, the newborn was taken away to be tested and cleaned before he or she is brought back to the mother. Today we put the baby immediately on the mother’s chest from the first minute after birth. This practice facilitates breastfeeding, reduces the risk of postpartum depression, strengthens the bond between mom and child, and it helps the baby to adapt faster to the new environment. Because although the newborn just left the protected warm uterus, he is still benefiting from his mother’s warm embrace, enjoying her heartbeat and her scent.

 

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2- Early breastfeeding

It is recommended that the mother breastfeeds as soon as possible to give the baby the benefits of colostrum which is rich in antibodies and nutrients.

3- Delayed cord clamping

If the newborn doesn’t need resuscitation or any medical care after birth, it is recommended not to cut the cord immediately. For the baby to get the benefits of the blood pumped from the placenta to the cord. It is recommended to cut the cord only after the blood stopped pumping completely. It was proven that this blood improves the hemoglobin levels in the baby’s blood and increases oxygen and nutrients level as well. It is noteworthy that this practice might increase the risk of the rise of bilirubin, and the chances of jaundice in newborns.

Benefits of the golden hour

1- Decreasing the baby’s shock from exiting the womb

This moment can be hard for both the mom and the baby, but the practices applied during the golden hour can ease the shock significantly.

2- Regulating the baby’s temperature

Skin-to-skin contact regulates the baby’s body temperature faster.

3- Regulating the infant’s breathing

The baby’s proximity to the mother regulates lung functions.

4- Strengthening the immune system

The baby gets the immune-enhancing benefits of colostrum through early breastfeeding.

5- Decreasing the signs of postpartum depression

When the mom embraces her child for an hour after birth, she has a lower chance of getting post-partum depression.

6- Reducing colic in baby

Babies can become colicky and go into unexplained crying monologues, but this hour of gold can reduce that. As well as decreasing the chances of the baby becoming gassy.

 

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Check out What is the best contraceptive? And how to choose the right one for you

 

 

Registered Midwife

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