What is the Golden Hour after delivery?

A new study in the journal Birth has found that babies exposed to synthetic oxytocin (commonly known as Pitocin) and fentanyl epidural during labor were significantly less likely to suckle while skin-to-skin with their mothers during the immediate postpartum period. This time is often called the Golden Hour, and is extremely important for mothers and babies for a variety of reasons. Holding your baby skin-to-skin will help baby regulate body temperature, blood sugar, and breathing, as well as colonize baby with your beneficial bacteria instead of the not-so-friendly hospital bacteria. Skin-to-skin contact also helps to establish breastfeeding, and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), “increases the likelihood for exclusive breastfeeding for 1 to 4 months of life as well as the overall duration of breastfeeding.”

There are 9 instinctive stages a newborn baby goes through when skin-to-skin with its mother in the first hour after birth if left undisturbed.

  1.  Birth cry
  2. Relaxation
  3. Awakening
  4. Activity
  5. Rest
  6. Crawling/Sliding
  7. Familiarization
  8. Suckling
  9. Sleep

Synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin) and fentanyl epidural medications given during labor can actually have an effect on babies postpartum, and breastfeeding can be adversely effected as a result. Check out this video from Healthy Children’s Center for Breastfeeding which features actual footage from this study.

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Categories: Hello Sunshine