By Stacy Liberatore for Dailymail.com
5:44 PM Mar 15, 2023, update 6:57 PM Mar 15, 2023
The first time a mother brings her newborn close to her skin sets the tone for their relationship, but science shows that this “golden hour” is vital for their health.
Medical experts have found that the first 60 minutes of uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact helps regulate baby’s temperature, control breathing and reduce the risk of hypoglycemia.
Not only is it crucial for the new life that has just entered the world, but the experience also provides oxytocin production in the mother, promoting bonding and milk production.
Professionals recommend immediately placing the baby face down on the mother’s stomach, with a blanket covering them both.
This position slows the production of adrenaline hormones in the mother so as not to interfere with the production of the hormones oxytocin and prolactin.
Tenelle Choal, a certified nurse midwife at Sanford Health in South Dakota, said in a statement, “Golden hour is very beneficial and critical during even years between mom and baby.”
“It’s super helpful for stabilizing the newborn coming out of the womb, as well as bonding.”
French obstetrician Michael Odent described in 1977 that newborns seek the breast within the first hour of life, which sparked the idea of the golden hour among the medical community.
And studies have shown that 60 minutes or more of instant skin-to-skin contact increases the percentage of a child being breastfed at three months.
Golden hour has also been shown to increase the time the baby is in a calm state of alert and reduce crying.
Once a mother brings her newborn baby close, oxytocin is immediately released into her body, which decreases postpartum bleeding and the risk of postpartum hemorrhage and allows for faster delivery of the placenta and blood. uterine involution.
“For baby, it helps with temperature regulation, or a fancy term for helping baby regulate temperature, as well as stabilize blood sugar,” Choal said.
“And then for mom, it helps mom produce hormones that help her breastfeed and produce milk, as well as reduce stress, anxiety and depression for her.”
Another way to make bonding easier, especially for new parents who haven’t been able to experience the “golden hour” due to medical complications, is to hold your newborn long after they come out of the baby. ‘hospital.
New parents have long been advised to lay their newborns down so they don’t spoil them, but contrary to popular myth, hugs activate oxytocin, increase bonding and boost their brain development.
Not only does holding your little one close to them keep them warm, it stops crying, regulates breathing and heart rate, helps with weight gain and improves growth.
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These results are compared to children who did not have physical attention and who are at higher risk for behavioral, emotional and social problems as they grow.
Years of study have proven the importance of contact between a caregiver and a baby, reports Parents.
One article, published in 2020, applauds the act of skin-to-skin contact, where an infant is clad only in a diaper and placed on the mother’s bare chest.
This result results in the release of oxytocin, which is associated with trust and relationship building, and the activation of sensory nerve fibers.
The study highlights several others, with one noting how contact is also beneficial for the caregiver.
“Their findings point to the nurturing and predictive quality of parental touch as a primary means of early contact and communication,” the article read.
A team of researchers from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio observed 125 preterm and full-term infants to see how they responded to touch, such as cuddling with a parent or not-so-light touches during medical procedures.
The results showed that newborns touched gently had more brain responses than when they experienced another touch during the procedures.
This, according to Parents Magazine, suggests that the “right” touch helps brain development.
Nathalie Maitre, who participated in the study, said in a statement: ‘We were certainly hoping to see that more positive tactile experiences in hospital would help babies have a more typical perception of touch when they go home.
“But we were very surprised to find that if babies undergo more painful procedures early in life, their sense of soft touch can be affected.”
“For new parents, including those whose young children have to undergo complex medical procedures, rest assured: your touch matters more than you think.”