BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - At about a week old, little Magnolia June is ready to make her debut to friends. A visit to her mom's place of work brought out coos and smiles from coworkers. However, during the baby's very first hour of life, it was all about time with mom.
"It's amazing. Being able to bring life into this world is a gift that some aren't given," said Magnolia's mom, Meghan Bardwell. "You really can't describe it."
The little girl is Bardwell's second child. With this birth, the mother embraced an initiative Woman's Hospital calls the Magic Hour. After birth, instead of taking baby away to be measured and weighed, the baby is immediately put skin to skin with mom. Critical tests and checks are still done while the baby is in mom's arms. Then, they're given an hour or two to themselves.
"The benefits are both for baby and mom," said prenatal education coordinator, Angela Hammett. "We have an increased rate of bonding. The mom has less risk of having some postpartum depression issues. As far as baby, baby has tons of benefits. The baby has increased temperature regulation, decreased risk of having their sugar d rop because of stress."
During this time, experts also discourage a lot of visitors and passing the baby around. Bardwell, who is also a nurse, says that part took a bit of convincing for her family who was eager to meet their newest addition. However, when she explained the benefits, she says her family agreed. "Once I talked about the benefits for mom and baby and us, they said, 'You know what, we've waited nine months, we can wait one more hour,'" said Bardwell.
Even Magnolia's dad was happy to support the quiet bonding time. He says he was in the room the whole time.
"You're still there. You're still included and you're still very much important, but to make sure that bond is between mother and child is priceless. You can't put words to that," said Blake Bardwell.
The mom described the experience as a very natural step and felt her own recovery had been easier. She said even breast feeding seems to be going better.
Hammett explains the Magic Hour is offered if both mom and baby are stable and healthy after birth. If there are any medical issues, they are treated accordingly and the family is reunited as quickly as possible.