From the moment a woman learns she's pregnant, her job as a parent begins. Upon hearing such news, often times women will make important changes as necessary to ensure the well-being of their child.
Once a child is born, between sleep deprivation, the drastic lifestyle change, and breastfeeding, the first few weeks with baby can be rough. However, these times are opportunities to bond with the baby as parents and bonding with the baby is crucial for baby's development. All the touches, cuddles, feelings of safety and security, set a foundation for emotional well-being for the baby which can last throughout their child's life.
Perhaps the most intense connection and bonding moment between parents and baby is during what's called "the golden hour". This is one hour of skin-to-skin ideally within the first hour after birth. At Phelps Memorial, parents can take advantage of the private and extra large labor and delivery rooms during the first hour, creating an even stronger and more intimate bond.
Research has shown that what happens during the first hour of a baby’s life can maximize the bonding experience between parent and child.
Sydney White, RN, BSN, CLC, said, "We really encourage one hour of skin-to-skin with the mom and baby. This is when the baby is almost naked on mom's chest. It helps with bonding and breastfeeding, if the mom wants to breastfeed."
Sydney provides a few other benefits to skin-to-skin contact including:
- Helps baby regulate his or her temperature.
- Stabilizes the baby's breathing, heartbeat, and more.
- Encourages breastfeeding.
"Also if the dad wants to do skin-to-skin he can definitely do that as well." said Sydney. "It's good bonding for the father."
Bonding is important for babies and parents. Developing a connection early on can provide a safe and nurturing environment that can set the course for the child to feel loved and supported throughout his or her lifetime.