At many hospitals, the hour after a baby’s birth is filled with routine
tests, procedures and lots of family and friends anxious to meet the new
arrival. With all the interruptions, mom, dad and baby spend little time together.
Yet recent research shows just the opposite should happen: a newborn gains
a long list of benefits—physically and emotionally—if allowed
to successfully bond with mom and dad during the first critical hour of
life. Bringing these well-documented advantages to each baby—as
well as key benefits to the new parents—is why St. Jude Medical
Center designed its popular “Babymoon.” Newborns are placed
skin-to-skin with their mothers—and all interruptions are kept outside
while mom, baby and dad get to know each other.
“This uninterrupted beginning is an amazing and very memorable time
for families,” explains Dawn Hernandez, RN, MSN, Director of Maternal
Newborn Services. “By taking advantage of this critical period of
time, we not only strengthen and nurture the newborn’s development,
but the development of this new family.”
As the baby lies on or next to the mom, the skin-to-skin contact helps
regulate the newborn’s breathing and body temperature, as well as
creates critical sensory awakenings. In addition, the close, undisturbed
contact produces hormonal changes in the mom, promoting physical recovery
and emotional well-being. The “Babymoon” also facilitates
successful breastfeeding and deepens the bond between parents and baby.