The Golden Hour Following Birth: Embracing the First Moments With Your Newborn

For nine months, your body has been busy building the new baby inside your womb. After a demanding delivery to bring her into the world, you can finally take a deep breath and discover how it feels to hold your baby for the first time. By cuddling skin to skin with your baby during her first 60 minutes of life, you will facilitate a strong bond between the two of you. This time immediately following birth is known as the Golden Hour. Spending time skin to skin with your baby during her first hour of life offers a variety of benefits for both of you. In addition to promoting attachment, time together during the Golden Hour can reduce stress for mom and baby alike. It can also help your baby adapt to life outside the womb and regulate their blood sugar, heart rate, and respiratory rate.

What Happens Moments After Your Baby Is Born

To help you take full advantage of the Golden Hour following birth, a nurse will clean and dry your newborn immediately after your baby is delivered. The nurse will then place your baby on your chest so that the two of you have skin-to-skin, belly-to-belly contact. This is also known as kangaroo care. After covering you with warm blankets, the nurse will let you and your baby bask in one another’s company. During this time, your infant will also find their way to your breast to nurse for the first time. Our lactation specialists at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital can offer you guidance about this process before, during, and after your first nursing sessions.

How the Pandemic Has Promoted Privacy

While being surrounded by loved ones after you give birth is wonderful, the delivery room has focused on safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. To protect the health of families, physicians, and other hospital staff, we are currently allowing two visitors in the delivery room—your significant other plus one support person. After delivery the support person will follow our current visitor policy guidelines. These guidelines allow for one visitor (in addition to your significant other) between the hours of 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. While this might not be your ideal situation, you may enjoy the quiet time with your little family and the opportunity to get some much-needed rest. Download a free copy of our maternity guide.

Download a free copy of our maternity guide.