According to a recent Belly Belly web publication by Sam McCulloch there are seven major benefits to having an undisturbed first hour after birth.  Implementation of this concept begins immediately after the child enters the world, and the baby is placed tummy down on their mother’s abdomen.  Positioning the baby on the mother in this manner is said to slow adrenaline hormone production in the mother, instead promoting oxytocin and prolactin release which is essential for bonding and breastfeeding. At this juncture and for the next hour the mother’s needs are simple and include a warm, quiet, and calm environment.   The placenta and membranes are not birthed at this time, and the uterus needs to contract down.   According to McCulloch the benefits of an undisturbed first hour after birth include:
  1. Baby-Led Initiation of Breastfeeding- babies will instinctually crawl to their mother’s breast from the abdomen and latch. Nursing helps expel the placenta more quickly and easily, reducing the risk of postpartum hemorrhage.
  2. Body System Regulation-when babies are left skin to skin with their mothers immediately after birth their body temperatures, respiration, and blood sugar regulates. Skin to skin contact between mother and baby also sets the stage for successful breastfeeding.
  3. Promotes Delayed Cord Clamping-leaving the umbilical cord intact while still pulsating allows babies to receive oxygen via the placenta and better transition to breathing with their lungs. Babies continue receiving vital red blood cells through the umbilical cord, reducing the risk of iron deficiency.
  4. Promote Mother-Baby Attachment- Bonding is established through the release of oxytocin which is produced in large amounts when mothers are breastfeeding and holding babies close to the skin.
  5. Improves Breastfeeding Success Rates-Statistically breastfeeding outcomes improve with early skin to skin contact, and babies who are left to latch on their own experience a better chance of proper tongue positioning which allows for an easier breastfeeding experience as fewer problems abound.
  6. Protects against the Effects of Separation-A newborn unexposed to excessive amounts of medication will be acutely aware of their mother’s face, smell, touch, and sound of her voice. Remaining with mother is key to a baby’s survival, and separation can feel life threatening.  Babies are born with a primal instinct to stay within the confines of a mother’s warmth, safety, and nourishment.  When separation is experienced too soon, babies protest loudly to draw the mother’s attention to their distress.  If a baby isn’t reunited very quickly they go into a state of despair, becoming quite and still.
  7. Boost Your Baby’s Immunity Naturally- leaving the baby in contact with the mother’s bacteria boosts their immune system to fight infection.
McCulloch underscores the importance of breastfeeding throughout the article, and like McCulloch the experts at Aeroflow Breastpumps value the importance of breastfeeding.  Full-term breastfeeding is the gold standard for maximum health benefits, and owning a double electric breast pump is an excellent way to increase breastfeeding longevity.  Submit your information here to see if you qualify for a breast pump through insurance, and let the experts at Aeroflow Breastpumps do the rest!