Merit Health Wesley takes parents through "Golden Hour"

(The following is a press release from Merit Health Wesley.  Visit for more details.)

From the moment parents hear their baby's heartbeat for the first time to the moment they welcome them into the world, parents have many opportunities to begin developing a bond with their child. But, the first 60 minutes of a baby's life is a bonding time unlike any other. Research has now proven that what happens during the first hour of a baby's life is important and is essential for bonding between a mother and a child. This memorable time has become known as the Golden Hour.

The Golden Hour

The Golden Hour is a bonding time for parents and their baby in which the baby is placed on the mother's chest, allowing skin-to-skin contact. It helps calm the baby, builds up the baby's resistance to infection, and gets breastfeeding off to a good start.It is important for parents to have this Golden Hour with their baby to begin the bonding process. After the Golden Hour with their newborn, parents can then invite family and friends in to meet their new arrival.

Skin-to-Skin and Breastfeeding

Studies show that the mother-child bond is critical for a baby's ongoing growth and development. Skin-to-skin contact in the first hours and days of a baby's life can help mommy, daddy, and baby get to know each other. This closeness is one of the best ways for parents to learn about their baby and begin the important process of bonding and connecting with their newborn. Another important component to bonding and continued health is breastfeeding.

Numerous studies show that breastfeeding provides significant benefits for both mother and baby. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, babies who are held skin-to-skin right after birth have more stable heart rates, temperatures, and blood sugars. They breastfeed sooner, longer and more easily, and even cry less. The more time parents spend holding their baby skin-to-skin after birth, the more benefits the baby will receive. While breastfeeding may not always work for everyone, it should be noted that breastfeeding often contributes to the best patient outcomes.

For babies who are breastfed the first 6 weeks of life, studies have shown a:
• 50 percent decrease in ear infections
• 27 percent decrease in asthma
• 39 percent decrease in diabetes
• 19 percent decrease in childhood leukemias
• 36 percent decrease in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

For moms who breastfed their babies for 6 weeks after birth, studies have shown a:
• 28 percent decrease in breast cancer
• 21 percent decrease in ovarian cancer
• 12 percent decrease in diabetes
The Birth Center at Merit Health Wesley believes in a family-centered approach to care. To learn more about how to prepare for and care for yourself and your baby, visit