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The first hour of life is sacred to mother and baby

What is the need to clean, give vaccinations or measure the baby right after birth? There will be time for these routine practices if the delivery has been without complications, because of course the first hour of life is sacred for the baby and the mother . Nothing is more important than that moment of early skin-to-skin contact between the two.

This is what Dr. Constanza Soto Conti, a staff physician at the Argentine Ramón Sardá Maternal and Child Hospital, explains, who also adds:

“Skin-to-skin contact between the mother and her child stabilizes the baby’s breathing and oxygenation, maintains blood glucose levels, stabilizes blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, reduces crying, increases calm alertness, promotes the early initiation of breastfeeding, and maintains the temperature, reducing the risk of hypothermia “.

The importance of early contact

The first sixty to ninety minutes after delivery, even the first two hours are talked about , are much more important than is usually believed. It is a particularly sensitive period in which early contact between mother and baby has both immediate and long-term positive effects.

In those moments, what is known as an affective imprint is established that favors the bond between the two and the establishment of breastfeeding.

Early breastfeeding, starting in the first hour of life, is key to successful breastfeeding.

During birth and the hours afterward, the mother’s and baby’s hormones work to create a synergy. The mother has a significant oxytocin discharge and the baby is especially receptive. So much so that if the baby is left naked on the mother’s breast, it crawls guided by the smell until it finds the mother’s breast and feeds, it is known as a breastcrawl.

A sacred moment to recognize yourself

It is a state of calm conscience, of recognition between the two , of contact, of smelling and touching each other that should not be interrupted by unnecessary interventions, not even by cutting the cord, since you can wait for it to stop beating on its own. only.

Before it was believed that the baby had to be held at the height of the mother’s uterus to prevent anemia, the doctor explains, and of course, the baby was terrified, but “today we know that, driven by the contractions of the uterus, the blood flows perfectly if we put it on his mother’s chest. “

Routine practices such as the first vaccinations, measurements and cleaning of the baby can be done on top of the mother while breastfeeding or caressing, they can even wait until two hours after delivery, since cleaning the baby right away does not make sense either. . The smell of the newborn baby also makes an imprint on the mother’s brain.

Long-term effects

The effects of this early contact in the first hours of life are also positive in the long term. It favors the affective relationship, the self-regulation of the babies, and the reciprocity between the two, at least during the first year of life.

According to Dr. Conti:

“Those initial minutes are a sensitive period during which close contact between the mother and the healthy newborn can have long-term positive effects, such as greater security and better tolerance for the distress of separation.”

Also in case of caesarean section

The doctor advocates facilitating early contact also in the case of babies born by caesarean section, because babies born by caesarean section would also have to stay in skin-to-skin contact with the mother.

In many hospitals, after the cesarean section the mother spends those precious two hours in resuscitation separated from her baby when physiologically they are ready to be united, they need each other.

Of course, this is not ideal and it is one of the practices to improve in childbirth care, since it is not an operation like any other. It should be controlled but allow you to be with your baby and your partner , and if any complications arise after the cesarean section, which in most women do not happen, have the means to act immediately.

Photos | Thinkstock
In Babies and more | Skin with mother-baby skin, also after a cesarean section, Babies are not born dirty: the first bath can wait

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