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The Magical Hour

The first hours of snuggling skin-to-skin give you and your baby time to get to know each other.

At ValleyCare Medical Center, we celebrate the “Magical Hour.” That means during the first hour after the delivery of your newborn, we encourage skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding your baby with as minimal interruptions as possible. We don’t weigh, measure or provide newborn medication until after the first hour is complete. We want to offer you and your newborn the best possible experience, and research shows that uninterrupted bonding time provides many benefits that can last a lifetime.

What Is Skin-to-Skin?

Immediately after birth, your baby is dried and placed unclothed onto your chest against your skin. The first hours of snuggling skin-to-skin give you and your baby time to get to know each other.

If your newborn needs to meet the pediatrician first, or you deliver by cesarean section, you can cuddle shortly after birth. This personal, protected time that you, your baby and your significant other spend together is crucial in establishing a new family unit.

Your chest is the best place for your baby to adjust to life in the outside world. Skin-to-skin steadies your baby’s temperature, breathing and heart rate. It also reduces stress for you and your baby and gives you time to learn your baby’s cues for feeding. Compared to babies who are swaddled or kept in a crib, skin-to-skin babies stay warmer and calmer, cry less, and have better blood sugar levels.

Early Breastfeeding

Research shows that snuggling gives you and your baby the best start for breastfeeding. Your baby will be more aroused to feed and will gain weight more easily. Colostrum, the first milk, smells similar to amniotic fluid that surrounded your baby in your womb. Your newborn will smell the colostrum when placed on your chest and will be naturally drawn to the familiar scent.

Skin-to-Skin Beyond Delivery

The health benefits of cuddling go beyond your hospital stay. Skin-to-skin contact can keep your baby interested in nursing and get feeding off to a good start. It also provides one of the best opportunities to bond with your baby—and dads can snuggle too! Fathers and mothers who hold their babies skin-to-skin keep them calm and cozy, and it is a good way to start your new life as a family together.

Your stay: For more information about ValleyCare Maternity Services, visit ValleyCare.com/maternity.
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