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"The Golden Hour"

After 9 months in a perfect climate controlled environment, the baby is transitioning into the "outside of the uterus life". The first 60 minutes after birth are very important. It is called the golden hour. What does that mean for a healthy full term baby? (Keep in mind, the following content applies to stable maternal-newborn dyad) Immediately after birth, the baby will be placed on the maternal abdomen. The newborn will remain skin to skin until (at least) the end of the first feeding which means usually 1-2 hours after birth. During that time the provider can perform delayed cord clamping, newborn assessment, newborn vitals without interrupting the skin to skin contact. All the non urgent tasks can be delayed.


Why is it so important? This process encourages natural behaviors and physiologic stabilization. It helps with temperature stabilization, glucose control for the newborn, hormone secretion, maternal/child bounding, it helps with initiation of reflexes that will be important for breastfeeding. It is not uncommon to see newborns crawling to the breast and latching if we let them do it. It's all about reflexes...


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