A true intervention-free golden hour would mean no weighing or cleaning of baby (save wiping his face, so that he can breathe and eat) and no tending to or stitching mom’s birth wounds.
Of course, when emergent medical intervention is necessary after birth—for either mother or child—the golden hour is interrupted. This is unfortunate but shouldn’t be seen as a lifelong setback.
If you miss out on your uninterrupted hour, you are encouraged to simply take it as soon as you’re able. Dim the lights, talk quietly, have skin-to-skin contact, study baby and—if breastfeeding—try to nurse.
“Separation of mom and baby can be a traumatic experience, and many moms grieve that time when they were apart,” explains Donegan. “Some birth professionals help moms to ‘redo’ the moment of birth with a ‘rebirthing’ ceremony, which takes place in a warm bath. It can be a very healing experience for mom.”
Donegan also adds, “Bonding with our babies occurs over a lifetime, so be gentle with yourself if you missed out on those first few moments or more.”
The bottom line: Savor that initial time together and be present, but stay flexible when things don’t go as planned.