The Golden Hour refers to the hour of skin to skin contact with your baby directly after their birth. The IWK will facilitate an hour of skin-to-skin contact with your baby immediately after the birth of the baby, as long as the birther and baby are doing well. This practice is recommended by every major obstetrical body and the WHO, for really important reasons. It is a critical time for the birthing person and the baby.
Really exciting things take place during this hour. Often baby keeps their eyes open and parents get to decide who they resemble! (but seriously, many more important reasons!) There are so many crucial reasons to protect this hour:
* It helps regulate your baby's respiration, heart rate, blood sugar levels and body temperature.
* It promotes attachment and bonding.
* Helps baby adjust to the outside world.
* Reduces Cortisol (stress hormone) in parents and babies.
* Both you and baby release oxytocin, which helps the uterus contract, expelling the placenta and can help reduce postpartum bleeding.
* It boosts your baby's immunity. It exposes babies to their parents bacteria which kick starts the immune system. That good bacteria also create a more diverse microbiome for baby.
* Last but not least, it initiates breastfeeding. Data shows that babies who are brought to the breast in the first hour after birth have a better/longer breastfeeding relationship.
If the birthing person requires medical attention that results in needing to have your partner hold the baby during the golden hour, partners and baby will get great benefits. This helps promote bonding with baby and the partner.
While typically standard practice in non-emergency situations, make sure skin-to-skin is on your birth plan. If you are having a Cesarean make sure that skin-to-skin is facilitated after the birth of your baby, you'll treasure those moments for a lifetime!