The Golden Hour: Study shows skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth improves health

Study shows skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth improves health (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - New research shows what happens right after birth, might make a big difference in a baby’s future health.

New or expecting moms should get to know about the “Golden Hour.”

More than 30 hospitals across the country decided to look at something small in a big study.

Dr. Amy Thomson says it was all about what's happening in the first hour after a baby is born.

“We took some traditional practices in hospitals, like what happened to the baby right after delivery, and how often mom and baby were able to be in a room together after delivery, and we really wanted to look at those basic processes and change how we did those fundamentally,” said Dr. Thomson, an OB-GYN.

Sure enough, they discovered that, as long as a baby is healthy, keeping mom and baby together in that “Golden Hour” can lead to everything from better bonding, to better breastfeeding.

“So now, rather than whisking a baby off to a warmer, we want mom to hold her baby skin to skin right after delivery,” said Dr. Amy Thompson.

Dr. Amy Thompson points out that while we are focusing on this immediate hour, it may have long-term benefits that go way beyond it for both mother and baby.

Dr. Thompson says it appears the “Golden Hour” impacts the brain.

“So moms brain and breasts are getting signals that the baby is getting ready to feed, and there's full MRI data to show that actually are brains are getting rewired, those fundamental areas of mirror neurons in our brain, that’s the big center in our brain that helps with empathy building and relationship building,” said Dr. Amy Thompson.

One it appears, it translates into a bright future in a lot of ways.

Babies that have skin to skin contact do appear to breastfeed exclusively longer in the mothers in this study.

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