7 Huge Benefits of An Undisturbed First Hour After Birth

7 Huge Benefits of An Undisturbed First Hour After Birth

The way your baby is cared for and nurtured immediately after birth significantly impacts their transition from the womb to life outside.

In a culture that commonly separates mothers and babies for routine procedures such as cleaning, weighing and measuring, most babies are missing that critical time of being skin to skin with their mothers, which has short and long term consequences for all.

As these procedures are not necessary to maintain or enhance the wellbeing of either mother or baby, there is no reason why they cannot be delayed beyond the first critical hour.

The first hour should be focused on baby’s first breastfeed and mother-baby and family bonding. Unless mother or baby is in need of medical assistance, hospital protocols should support this time of new beginnings for both vaginal and caesarean births.

What Is An Undisturbed First Hour?

Babies are born and immediately placed tummy down on their mother’s stomach. A warm blanket should be placed over both mother and baby, to keep mother warm. This slows the production of adrenaline hormone in her so as to not interfere with oxytocin and prolactin hormones being produced (essential for bonding and breastfeeding).

At this time, the mother’s needs are simple: warmth and a quiet, calm environment. It is important to remember that she is still in labour – the placenta and membranes are still to be birthed, and her uterus needs to contract down.

Here are 7 important reasons why the first hour after birth should be undisturbed:

#1: Baby-Led Initiation of Breastfeeding

It is quite common these days for hospital staff to want baby to begin breastfeeding within the first hour. In addition to the importance of early feeding for mother-baby attachment and bonding, it also helps to expel the placenta more quickly and easily, reducing the risk of postpartum haemorrhage. Read more about the benefits of a natural third stage here.

It’s common for caregivers to assist baby to latch onto the nipple, which is unnecessary in most cases. When babies who have not been exposed to medications are placed skin to skin with their mothers and left undisturbed, they will instinctually crawl to their mother’s breast and attach themselves to the nipple. This is now known as the ‘breast crawl’ and was first observed by Swedish researchers in the 1980s. Further observation discovered that babies are born with innate instincts that assist them in finding their mother’s nipple, like all newborn mammals.

#2: Body System Regulation

Babies who are left skin to skin with their mothers for the first hours immediately after birth are better able to regulate their temperature and respiration. Newborns aren’t able to adjust their body temperature as well as older children and adults as they don’t have the same insulating fat levels. They have spent nine months in an environment that is perfectly temperature controlled. If babies lose too much heat, they have to use more energy and oxygen than they can spare to try and keep their temperature stable

An undisturbed first hour with skin to skin also reduces the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels). Newborn babies can produce glucose from their body stores of energy until they are breastfeeding well and are more likely to do so when they remain skin to skin with their mothers.

#3: Promotes Delayed Cord Clamping

Leaving the umbilical cord intact while it is still pulsating allows babies to receive oxygen still via the placenta, while adjusting to breathing through their lungs. Being skin to skin with their mothers helps babies to stabilise respiration, meaning that their cord will remain intact for longer and giving them more chance to receive vital red blood cells and reduce the risk of iron deficiency anaemia (read more from BellyBelly on delayed cord clamping here).

Even if you have a c-section, delayed cord clamping is possible, but not in all cases. Ultimately it depends on the willingness of your chosen care provider and your unique situation. Speak to your care provider to see if he or she supports delayed clamping during straight forward c-sections. It’s an important question to ask when interviewing your care provider.

#4: Promotes Mother-Baby Attachment

Prolonged skin to skin after birth allows mother and baby to get to know each other. Mothers who have skin to skin contact after birth are more likely to feel confident and comfortable in meeting their babies’ needs than those who had none. Attachment is critical to newborn survival and mothers are hard wired to look after their young. Oxytocin receptors in a woman’s brain increase during pregnancy, so when her baby is born, she is more responsive to this hormone that promotes maternal behaviour. Oxytocin is produced in large amounts when breastfeeding and holding babies close skin to skin.

Mothers who had early skin to skin with their babies are more likely to demonstrate bonding behaviours later in their child’s life, such as kissing, holding, positive speaking and so on.

Skin-to-skin is becoming a reality for more c-section mothers – find out more here.

#5: Improves Breastfeeding Success Rates

Breastfeeding initiation and duration is likely to be more successful with babies who have early skin to skin contact. This is particularly important in countries where breastfeeding rates significantly drop a few months after birth, such as Australia, America and the UK. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for babies in the first six months to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Creating the right conditions for the initiation of breastfeeding would help promote longer durations of breastfeeding for many women.

Babies who are left to self attach usually have a better chance of proper tongue positioning when latching. This can increase long term breastfeeding as mothers experience more ease and fewer problems when latching is not an issue.

#6: Protects Against The Effects of Separation

Babies are born ready to interact with their mothers – a newborn baby who has not been exposed to excessive medication will be very alert and gaze intently into their mother’s face, recognising her smell, sound of her voice and the touch of her skin. Remaining with their mother is key to a baby’s survival and separation is life threatening. Babies are born with a mammal’s primal instinct to stay within the safe habitat of mother, where there is warmth, safety and nourishment.

When babies are separated from their mother they will protest loudly, drawing their mother’s attention to their distress. Babies undergo what is literally a cold turkey withdrawal from the sensory stimulation of their mother’s body. If they are not reunited with their mother despite their protests, they will go into a despair state – essentially giving up and becoming quiet and still. This is partly a survival instinct to avoid attracting predators, and their body systems slow down to preserve energy and heat.

#7: Boost Your Baby’s Immunity Naturally

When babies are born, they emerge from a near-sterile environment in the uterus and are seeded by their mother’s bacteria. This essentially trains the baby’s cells to understand what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria. This kickstarts their immune system to fight off infections and protects from disease in the future.

Research indicates that if babies aren’t given this opportunity to be exposed to their mother’s bacteria, either because they are not born vaginally, held skin to skin or breastfed, then the baby’s immune system may not reach its full potential and can increase the child’s risk of disease in the future.

Skin to skin contact and early breastfeeding is an excellent way to help increase your baby’s exposure to bacteria if you need a caesarean section for medical reasons. Find out more ways to boost your baby’s immune system here.

Tips For Planning An Undisturbed Hour After Birth

A better understanding of how an undisturbed hour after birth impacts breastfeeding, mother wellbeing and newborn development, helps make it possible for us to make informed choices about this critical period:

  • Choose your birth carer and setting to increase your chances for an undisturbed natural birth and first hour. Caregivers should support you having an undisturbed first hour and leave routine baby checks until you are ready.
  • Create an optimal environment for birth (warm, dim lighting, quiet, private, supported). This boosts the right hormones for natural birth, which reduces the need for interventions that could cause separation from your baby.
  • Ensure your caregivers understand the important of leaving the umbilical cord intact until it has stopped pulsating, so baby cannot be separated from you.
  • To promote production of oxytocin and prolactin, make sure your environment after birth remains warm and calm.
Last Updated: May 10, 2016


Sam McCulloch enjoys talking so much about birth that she decided to become a birth educator and doula, supporting parents in making informed choices about their birth experience. In her spare time she watches Downton Abbey and has numerous creative projects on the go. She is mother to three beautiful little humans.


  1. For all the moms out there who are unable to hold their babies due to complications after birth please know that your baby will be ok. Your baby will bond with you and you will be able to breastfeed. The statemt that “baby may go into a despair state” and “separation is life threatening” by not being held is not true if the reason you cannot hold them is to save their lives. Not holding your baby after it is born is the worst kind of emotional pain for a mom and reading this may feel like you have ruined them for life. But please know there is plenty of bonding techniques to do at a later date as well. If you can skin to skin would be a wonderful thing to do but if you are unable to do within the first hour your sweet little baby will be ok and develop the same as other babies.

    1. Thanks for adding this Jocelyn. Means so much when people remember to reassure a group of mums who are already sad/traumatised/feel guilty when they haven’t been able to do these things.

      1. Very nice reassurance for mothers, Joselyn. Just to further reassure…all 3 of my children were born via c-section in the 1980’s. My hospital’s practice was to incubate c-section babies for 24 hours following birth. Therefore, I was not able to enjoy the skin to skin bonding hour. They all did bond very well with me afterward, though I do feel it may have taken a little longer. None were breastfed. They all grew to be extremely healthy, well-adjusted, intelligent, creative individuals who are very close to their parents. Worry not, young mothers 🙂

        1. Ditto to Joanna’s comments.
          I had 2 emergency c-sections and didn’t get to hold my 2 boys until a while/hours after their birth. I spent all the time I could with them in the hospital with skin contact. They slept with me or next to me in the hospital and allowed to nurse non-stop whenever they wanted (i guess i thought that could help). They are 5 and 8 y.o. now and are the most tactile, loving boys. They are very happy & well-adjusted and still love coming into mom & dad’s bed in the middle of the night / very early morning hours to be close to us.
          A successful life can start all different ways. The first rule in birthing is that things never go as planned; its part of the human experience. It doesn’t help to beat yourself up about it. Accepting that can be the healthiest a mom can do.

        2. Ditto, and thanks Joanna! I didn’t have c sections but I didn’t breastfeed my 3 healthy and intelligent kids either. I had a physical problem preventing it. We non traditional moms do appreciate reassurance that we haven’t ruined our offspring, mine are grown.

          1. thanks Ruth I didn’t breast feed either and all my children are grown , no allergies , and doing fantastic as long adults…

        3. I agree… It’s not the end of the world if you were not able to breastfed Your child. My son was barely breastfed because i had a lot of pains and he is definitely strong, healthy and smart…

    2. Thank you!!! We don’t be to do it to be negative. As a Nicu RN, we separate to save your baby’s life. Even Mother Nature can have grim reality.

    3. That comment was so sweet. My baby was born @24 weeks so i did not get to hold her until 6 days after she was born. But after that we did skin to skin as much as possible. Hopefully with my next baby i can go full term and experience that hour 🙂

    4. I completely agree with you. My babies both had a few minutes with me but my life was on the line so I sure didn’t get an hour. Both are healthy and happy 7&9 years later

    5. Thank you for putting that statement was just thinking thats abit harsh as soon as i had my son i almost died blood loss ect so didn’t hold him passed out didn’t get to hold him for four hours! And my milk never started because of blood loss statements like this make you feel horrible

    6. I had three children, two boys and a premie girl. When my boys were born, I held them immediately, skin to skin. They both nursed well and grew up to be tall and strong, incredibly intelligent. When my daughter was born 5 weeks early, I barely got to see her. She had a LOT of health issues, and every time we thought she was getting better, she didn’t. She wouldn’t nurse. When I finally got to hold her, it felt like holding A baby, not MY baby. We didn’t bond for a while, which led me into a deep depression. To this today, she is still really tiny.

      Please do not make such a blanket statement. Many mothers could be crushed when they find out the opposite is possible.

      1. Very good point! My sister-in-law had to have an emergency procedure right after her delivery, so her husband held their baby girl for a couple hours until she was able to. Daddy and baby have a very close relationship even now at 7 months old, which they totally attribute to that bonding time together in the beginning. I think as long as baby bonds with someone that is going to be around and be a “safe” person to remember after going home, then it’s all good! We all just do the best we can.

      2. No….no they can’t. No more so than dad’s can give birth. Certainly it is not the same. The biological bond between a mother and child is unique and special, there is no substitute. Body secretions and hormones cannot be replicated. That’s a pleasant thought….yet there simply are some things mothers can do, that fathers can’t. It’s a fact, and there’s nothing wrong by recognizing that.

        1. You’re actually dead wrong. Fathers do release the bonding hormone oxytocin when holding their child, as well as prolactin, estrogen and glucocorticoids. It is a fact. Do some research before spouting off at the mouth with such patronizing confidence, or consider pursuing higher education so you could actually understand a research article.

    7. Thanks, Jocelyn, for this reassuring message. I’m an L&D nurse and we hate to separate moms and babies but sometimes we have to. Our hospital is ‘baby friendly’ and we do everything not to separate them.

    8. I had an emergency c-section to save both the life of my son and my life since my blood pressure was bottoming out. Then, my uterus refused to firm up and I almost lost my life to blood loss and almost lost my uterus. They took my son back to the birthing suite and my husband cleaned him and held him while I was being taken care of in the OR. As soon as I made it back the few feet from the OR suite to my birthing suite, I was handed my son and we had skin to skin contact. The policy of the hospital is to have the baby AND the father “room in” with the mother. This gives both parents a chance to bond with their baby. My son could smell me and hear me even when he was in the bassinet next to my hospital bed. My husband and I both had a chance to hold him as often as we wanted and to start changing diapers immediately.

      When I read this article, I felt tears threaten as I felt ABSOLUTELY judged for not being able to have my son placed on my chest directly after birth. The person who wrote this article ABSOLUTELY meant the judgement that I felt. SHAME on “Sam McCulloch”! Thank you for trying to alleviate that pain and judgement, but the person who wrote this did so out of a self-superior position and frame of mind. It was obvious that she feels that those of us who had complications at delivery (and mine were unexpected since I had enjoyed a quiet, routine pregnancy and we had NO IDEA that my son was breach) are somehow “less” and it fuels the “Mommy Wars”.

      1. Cat, I am very sorry to hear you had a terrible experience.

        Everything that Sam wrote was factual, accurate and researched. Unfortunately, it’s not possible for all mothers and babies.

        That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t educate about the importance of the first hour.

        1. I Keep seeing you saying all this is “factual” how did these so called facts come about? I’m guessing from a study you did with lab rat’s?

          1. Hi, I totally agree with the sentiment of the commenter that many parents don’t get the option to have immediate skin-to-skin contact after birth and they are by no means failures for it! However, they keep saying ‘ factual’ because there is a shit-ton of research out there, some of which is linked in the article. Click on some links, read it for yourself, critique it & disagree if you want to – that’s the joy of academic debate. But the links are there to back up what the author was saying. Go look.

      2. Insecure much? She did NOT mean to make people feel less. Just to inform. Get over yourself. My situation was similar to yours but I worked my ass off to do all the things here and it has paid off. I no longer writhe in self pity as you obviously seem to do.

    9. Thank you so much for this! It should really be a required addendum to every single article and blog post about how important it is to immediately hold your baby at birth. For all these authors’ good intentions, by never even so much as mentioning the medical emergency situations, and how to still create that bonding experience under difficult circumstances, it leaves the impression upon already stressed out NICU moms that here’s one more thing you and your baby missed out on and creates the fallacy that you can never get that chance. I did as much skin to skin with my 32wk preemie as possible, held and wrapped and nursed him as soon as possible. 15 months later we’re still BF, and he’s a healthy, happy, loving, VERY active toddler.

    10. It is important to reassure moms that they can make up for the loss of that first hour of skin to skin time when and infant has needed emergency neonatal care for illness or prematurity. Humans are capable of recovering from lost opportunities. It is also important to recognize that the many infants and moms in the US are not given the opportunity to have their first hour or two skin to skin, when they are healthy. The literature base has been available since the 80’s, but culture has not changed in all hospital environments. There is a powerful website, SKINTOSKINCONTACT.com, by Dr Nils Bergman, a neonatologist and expert on skin to skin care. The reactions of infants have scientifically analyzed and studied by Dr Bergman, and other experts.
      He provides scientific information for the basis of skin to skin care. Many NICU’s currently do lots of skin to skin care, while others are erratic in their practice. I see this every day in my work environment.
      It is good to reassure women that they can recover with their infants from lost opportunities, but not appropriate to deny that there is any loss or hurt from separation.

    11. Loved the article, but i remember 39 years ago having my daughter, they then took her and i had to go to the nursery hours and hours later to look at her toes and fingers.
      So in hearing these new findings it helps alot to hear even if she didnt have all that good stuff it will be ok.

  2. Yes,you are absolutely right. Nature has made them tuff little bundles to give them every chance to survive. Sometimes they do need a little help. That’s why you need a good Doctor or Midwife that knows when and when not to intervene.

  3. It is pretty ironic that directly underneath the “#5 Improves Breastfeeding Success Rates” is an ad for formula. Advertising of formula directly to mothers is forbidden by the WHO code for a reason – it negatively impacts breastfeeding success rates.

    1. Nancy, unfortunately while I have banned formula websites in Australia (what I can see) I can’t see what you’re seeing in other countries, as the ads are geographically based. If you see a formula ad, please send the link to me at [email protected] (attention to Kelly) and I can ban ads from that URL. Sometimes companies are sneaky and use multiple URLs but I am banning as I go. I can’t ban without a url though.

        1. Ads these days are using smart technology — especially if you’re logged into any google services. They will display ads based on what they think you’re interested in, based on demographic data they have of you, or based on the sites you have visited. I am getting loads of travel and hotel ads, because I am travelling 😉

          1. I am in AZ as well and have one for dog treats and another for life ins. They are generated randomly and can also change when you leave the page and come back to it.

  4. I wish we would have an undisturbed first hour after birth. I wish I would know about the benefits. I have had a long labour that ended with emergency c-section. The midwife rushed me to start breastfeeding. I wash so exhausted to think and to protest. She started to push my son’s head on my breast, he was screaming :'( So did the nurses. Guess what? He never wanted to breastfeed, he was screaming every time I have put him on the breast. Even now, when he is 15 months he hates when you hold his head still. I managed to pump for 3 months so he could have some breastmilk. I felt so guilty, I wish I could breastfeed him, I always wanted to BF 🙁 Now I know I won’t allow anyone to disturb “OUR” hour with the next baby.

    1. I had a similar experience. I was induced and had a few complications. After baby was born the midwive wa so unsupportive and spent a total of 5 mins with me, pushing my daughters head onto me to feed her telling me I had to force her mouth onto my breast. She used to scream anytime I tried to Breast feed her after that , it was so heartbreaking. I pumped for a few weeks but ended up going to bottle as I just couldn’t produce enough milk. To this day 2 years on, I feel so sad that I wasn’t able to bf and angry with the lack of support. My next baby will be a better experience, it’s my way or the highway 🙂

      1. The nurses forced my daughter onto my breast every 2 hours the whole time we were there too 🙁 ohh boy did it break my heart every single time! She only nurses now if we’re in the bath together or if she wants to or if I’m wearing a nipple shield. I pump all day everyday (thank the lord im a stay at home mom!) and ive been feeding her exclusively breastmilk for 3 months now. 🙂 I’m hoping to make it a year but at least 6 months, even 9 months, I’d be happy. I was blessed enough to have a great birthing experience with my first and only child. Vaginal delivery, over an hour of skin to skin bonding time right after she was born, constant bonding to this day, and i get to see every milestone the first time they happen. My now 3month old daughter, Evelyn, is my pride and joy 🙂 rolled from her tummy to her back the day she was a month old, has slept through the night since she was brought home from the hospital, has never been sick(yet), so content and happy, falls asleep every night at bedtime by herself in her crib, and she loves to talk, giggle, laugh, smile, make spit bubbles, watch tv, spend time with her daddy, be held all the time, loves kisses and love, and of course loves to eat and sleep! And to the people who feel offended by this article, don’t. You know it’s not realistic for everyone to have the perfect birth experience, so why get offended over something that someone took the time to write to try and make the bonding experience a great and lasting one? It doesnt make sense to get all butt hurt over something that was created to make a positive start to a child’s life! Thank you for posting the article, it was a great read and i am so hapoy and blessed that i was and am able to have the bond with my baby girl and i still do skin to skin with her everyday!

    2. I had to pump because neither of my daughters would latch on properly. One fought it and screamed the other just wouldn’t open her mouth at all. I’m going to make sure number three has the chance to find her way there on her own. If they try to force this one they’ll get an earful from an angry momma. But I’m in a birthing center this time and not at the hospital, hopefully a better experience.

  5. What an irresponsible and asinine article. Presenting in such an either/or way is so wrong. Basically you are saying, “either you hold your baby undisturbed for an hour after birth or they are doomed for the rest of their lives”. What utter malarkey! Why guilt trip moms who already guilt trip themselves enough!

    1. We’re not telling parents what to do at all, we’re simply stating facts and the benefits of doing so. We also understand it’s not possible to do it in all cases, for example emergencies. But, as the article title states, here are the benefits of an undisturbed first hour.

      1. Kelly, this is a great article. Women should be armed with good information, so that they can do the best they can in the circumstances they are in. Thanks for sharing!

    2. What an asinine and irresponsible comment to leave on this awesome article. It’s called being informed and making the best choices you can, as circumstances allow. No one wants to read your negativity and hysterical comment about mother’s being “doomed”, or inferring that’s what the author said, which couldn’t have been farther from the truth. In other words Lisa, grow up!!

  6. After an emergency c-section caused by the cord being wrapped twice around my son’s neck the nursing staff was eager to wisk him away for evaluation. I asked for time with him to bond and see if he would nurse. A few moments at least. They found me a spot outside the operating room and left us alone. I think they forgot about us because we lingered there for over an hour, just the 2 of us. He nursed, he slept and could soak him up. Golden.

  7. Because my son had aspirated meconium before entering the world, after 52 hours of labor, the NICU was in my room and caring for him right away. However, I was able to hold him within the first hour after he was born but sadly there was too much noise in the room and while I was delivering the placenta the careless doctors left The door to my room wide open as pastor buys stopped to look in on what was going on. Horrible birth experience but thankfully this article has given me an insight to what I can look forward to for my next bundle of joy if it’s God’s will =)

  8. As a labor RN we try our hardest to respect parents wishes. Esp with the bonding experience. But you must realize the baby must cry a little to clear the fluid from its lungs and promote the new fetal circulation. Assuming all goes well- and the baby is not in distress, we can place skin to skin asap. But realize that the stress of birth is hard on these little ones, and many times they need to be stimulated at first. Be mentally prepared for these circumstances.

    1. okay…i was wondering why they take the baby away.
      my son came out and.didnt cry at first no noises or anything took them awhile to get him to start crying.

    2. I’ve been att being births for ten years. Only in the very most severest of cases is it necessary to attend to a newborn off the mother’s chest. Extra stimulation for baby to exhibit healthy lung function happens while baby is on mother’s belly/chest. Suctioning also may easily happen with baby in mom’s arms. Many times families do not even realize the baby is in need of this extra stimulation.

  9. I wanted to have the immediate skin contact with our son, but was unable too due to my cesarean. (He was to big for my pelvic cavity and I never even dilated.) I could not move my arms to hold him him or stay alert at all. I vaguely remember someone holding him near my face so I could look at him for a millisecond before he was whisked away. It was hours later before I could focus enough to see him being held by my husband, surrounded by family on the other side of the room from where I clawed my face from the meds I was given. All I could do was cry, I severely needed that bonding time as none of his birth felt real.

    1. I had a very similar experience Lauren. There was a point in the arrival about the undisterbed hour being possible for some c sections, is there any were this is elaborated??

  10. We had all 3 of our children at home with a midwife. All 3 were beautiful births, easy, short labors. We were able to do all the things mentioned in your article, because our midwife was educated with the importance of this knowledge she was then able to guide us of it’s importance!

  11. I was unable to do skin to skin immediately after having my daughter, due to nearly bleeding out ( uterine atony). Through all the emergency procedures and controlled chaos, my husband who is very shy, took his shirt off and held our daughter skin to skin. He knew how important it was to me to have skin to skin time for her. Just a suggestion, that if Mom can’t make it b/c of an emergency maybe a support person could? Although, I am sure Mom is the best choice anyone who loves you and your little squish can step in, and let baby feel connected with someone who loves them.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear your story. I’m glad you’re both safe, and I hope the recovery has been a good one.

      My answer to your question is absolutely! If mamma can’t do it — tell dad to get his shirt off, STAT 😉

  12. Hi there, enjoyed reading this and am wondering if you have reputable published sources of research to support the points? As a health professional it’s always good to have the source before introducing and advocating

      1. I would hazard a guess Orla didn’t know the blue hyperlinks in the text are what she is after. She may be used to other methods of citing and referencing.

  13. I have to say following the birth of our second son we were fortunate to have the benefits of a a beautifully uninterrupted hour+ . It was an extremely quick labour and birth, so that time immediately after was really important for hubby and I and baby to ‘come to terms’ and take it all in.
    It was prompted by the wonderful midwife. baby initiated breastfeeding and the dr didn’t see any need to interrupt us for the standard tests measurements etc. After a very lengthy breastfeed baby was then weighed measured and dressed for us to move out of the delivery suite, and it was only then that he had a brief cry. The Drs check didn’t happen until the next day.
    I would totally do this again provided all was medically well.

  14. i believe this article is saying, when there are no complications with mom or baby, immediate skin to skin, delayed cord clamping, and breastfeeding should not be delayed or interrupted by routine hospital procedures. hospitals do not always do what’s in the best interest of the new family, i’m very sorry to say. 🙁

    1. I agree. A lot of the time mum doesn’t get all that much say in what happens unless she knows and feels comfortable to stand up for her wishes.
      Common sense would say that if you or the baby have an emergency, then this wouldn’t be an option to you. So presumably they are talking about the ‘norm’ here.
      All bar 1 of 4 births, the babies were taken away pretty fast to be weighed and jabbed and i had active 3rd stages and the rest. Wasn’t until my last that I actually just held him skin to skin and fed him for a whole hour, until the placenta was born (natural 3rd stage…took a while lol), then he had skin on skin with daddy for a bit then he was weighed and checked etc.

  15. While it is good to have a birth plan and aim for this, the reality of childbirth means it can’t always happen. Having Dad there to step it and hold baby helps both of them. My hubby was left in the birthing suite with our new baby (number 6) while I was rushed to the operating theatre for an emergency hysterectomy after haemorrhage. Baby and I bonded just fine and he was breastfed for well over 12 months. He’s 14 now and has always been a loving and affectionate son and I’ve always been a cuddly Mum. I could also refute every other point with my own experiences. Please don’t worry mothers, this article could be more balanced. All that is needed is you and baby do your best and keep striving for the ideal. Don’t beat yourself up if plans have to change, that affects both you and baby badly.

    1. This article is simply discussing the title: benefits of an undisturbed first hour. It is delivering on it’s promise. If you don’t want to hear about the benefits, it’s best avoided.

      Even world famous obstetrician, Michel Odent, is a huge encourager and supporter of this. So it’s important, but not essential. Some babies and mothers need help more than an undisturbed first hour.

  16. This article has a lot to say, but, as a L&D/post partum and NICU nurse, I have seen all facets of the delivery process. There are absolute reasons for separation of mother and infant although we do try to keep them together. Delivery is a “natural” process but anything can happen and sometimes we have to separate the infant from the mother. Not all infants or first time mothers can breastfeed without the assistance of nursing staff. Several factors may make it difficult for baby to latch which does require assistance from nursing staff. Maybe mom has flat nipples, needs nipple shield. Some infants are too stressed at birth, get cold, have low blood sugars and do not have the “spark” to get going. I am so tired of people trying to sabotage the hospital staff and make it like we are the enemy! We are not the enemy and try to help new mom’s with their infants. I too had all C-sections and was separated from my babies at birth. My totally bottle fed infant was my healthiest. My totally breastfed infant was the one who spent the first year of his life on antibiotics for constant ear infections. It is what it is and we all try to do the best for our babies and that is all that can be expected. I respect those that want an all natural childbirth but also respect that we are in this profession to help those that need our help too! Don’t make us out to be the enemy. I am an educated person. Remember I went to nursing school so I can help you. I will read your “birth plan” and if it is reasonable, I will do everything in my power to work with you to make your delivery memorable and rewarding.

    1. We don’t think you’re the enemy at all. As you’d know too, the system is not set up to best facilitate normal, physiological birth for women.

      When we can, an undisturbed first hour is highly beneficial. Sometimes it’s not at all possible. We don’t think you love your babies any less if you can’t do it. It’s a bonus these days, especially under the circumstances in which we birth in.

    2. “I will read your birth plan if it is reasonable.” L and D nurses should read every plan. To a new mom, her birth and plan are sacred and both should be treated as such.

      Your idea of a “memorable and rewarding” birth may not be what the mother has in mind. She comes first before all of your preconceived notions and plans of/ for her.

      And yes birth is natural, no need for quotation marks.

      Your comment does make you sound combative and enemy-like. It holds the same tone the nurses responsible for my unnecessary c-section held.

      L and D stuff should be warm, nurturing, gentle, sensitive, open and accepting.

  17. Perfect! I did this with my last birthgiving of my 4th child! She’s a very happy, calm and satisfied babygirl!

  18. I have just read through all these posts and as far as the original article goes there is a lot of science and research to support what Sam was trying to bring to the fore. In an ideal world everyone would benefit from knowing about this special time “the first hour ” and all its benefits but not everyone is going to experience the ideal birth but it can and should still be seen as an amazing miraculous event. If you can understand the benefits when you apply them should not be perceived as a failure, be it immediate, a couple of hours later, weeks or years just hold your children in a warm embrace, love them for who they are, appreciate the miracle bestowed upon you, do the best you can by them and they will become the amazing people they were always meant to be regardless and remember to be open to receive this information in the light it is intended as just that information as it is the mothers who are informed that help change practices in hospitals and if it necessary for them to step in, the hospital staff can then encourage the opportunity to allow time for parents to revisit the possibilities of that “first hour” as much as possible as soon as possible.
    I don’t think anyone should feel the need to defend what happened to them or those that may have participated in that course of events if it was a necessity.
    Pure ignorance is what is needed to change and community awareness helps that to happen.
    This is valuable information and now that you know it and the opportunity to envelop it is yours for the taking, if not do it when you can all the hormones that allow this to occur haven’t gone anyway they are still within you just not in the heightened state they are in that “first hour” !!!

  19. I loved the article but I would’ve loved out more before i had my baby because I had a nearly perfect pregnancy and a great labor and delivery but it just so happens my doctor wasnt the one on call and my girl had to come out just a few hours beforw the doctor would come in so I was stuck with a very rude and mean doctor that even made the comment “your the one that didn’t want the epidural” when I screamed from the stitches. I thankfully have a video from the firstcry to about 45 mins after her life started only being touched by gloves and rough blankets even though she was perfect and we knew it through out my pregnancy. The doctor simply wasn’t good and wasnt even my doctor. I would’ve lived to have known all f this when I was pregnant but I do believe it does trigger guilt in mothers and I completely understand what the other moms are saying. But I’m also very happy to read this for my next pregnancy And I can’t say I would’ve found this information if your site hadn’t put it together for me. So thank you for the facts even if it hurt. It’ll help me n the long run.

  20. I completely agree with nature taking its course and leaving the baby, skin to skin, for as long as possible unless there’s a specific medical reason/or reasons to do otherwise.

    I recently read one of THE MOST INCREDIBLE BOOK on the subject, written by Frederick Leboyer, M.D. (available on Amazon.com) titled BIRTH WITHOUT VIOLENCE, which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND not only to pregnant ladies, but for ANYONE interested in the subject just as I was!

    AWESOME READ and completely in line with this practice! I KNOW THAT IF YOU GET IT, YOU WILL TOTALLY ENJOY IT, ESPECIALLY IF YOU READ IT TWICE, as I AND my Mom did!

  21. I’m curious how this data was gathered. I can’t imagine that anyone would allow themselves to become a statistic in a study during their first hour of parenthood (or repeated parenthood). So if this research is done by asking parents at a later date, are they remembering exactly what they did. Childbirth can be overwhelming for mom and dad even after their first experience with it. Also, how many parents lied about holding their child that first hour? Geez, I want to sound like a good parent so I’m going to say that I held my baby and took care of all of its needs the first couple hours. Sounds like a fairy tale to me and bad research/data gathering. I’m not advocating to parents to not have this precious first hour experience. I’m just pointing out that many bad studies (yes, even ones that have been given a stamp of approval by one group or another) with poor data collection and even worse statistical analysis are done every day. This, to me, sounds like one of them.

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