The Sacred Hour: Benefits of Skin-to-Skin Contact

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The Sacred Hour
Uninterrupted, skin-to-skin contact with your newborn during the first hour of life is often referred to as the “sacred hour.” It bonds mom (and dad!) to baby and even provides the little one health benefits.

Skin-to-skin contact with your newborn during the first hour of life is often referred to as the “sacred hour.” It bonds mom (and dad!) to baby and even provides the little one health benefits.

What’s not to love about a baby in its first hours of life. So take advantage of that sweet smell and hold your baby — skin to skin.

Why Skin-to-Skin Contact?

Uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact with mom and baby during the first hour of life (Dads can do it too!) is often referred to as the “sacred hour.” And there are benefits for Mom, Dad and baby. Studies have shown that immediate skin-to-skin contact after birth has many benefits:

  • Improved temperature regulation
  • Enhanced breastfeeding success
  • Help regulate baby’s breathing
  • Promoted bonding with your baby

The nursing staff will continue to monitor your baby to make sure they are adjusting to their new environment, and will help if your baby is having difficulty during this time.

What About the Tests and Medication Administered After Birth?

Weighing and measuring your baby will still occur, but all non-essential hospital tasks will be delayed until after the first hour. Parents are encouraged to bond with their baby during this time and cherish these tender moments by limiting visitors.

If you have any questions about the benefits of skin-to-skin contact, be sure to talk to your OBGYN or your transition nurse at the hospital, or visit Children’s Services at Renown.

Contributed by Ciera Staggs, RN, Transition Nurse, Labor & Delivery, Renown Children’s Hospital

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