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The Difference Between The Golden Hour & The Magical Hour

Before your baby is born, you'll probably spend most of your time wondering what life will be like once baby arrives and researching ways to make it a smooth, safe entry. In your research, you've probably come across words like "golden hour," "magical hour," "undisturbed hour," and "skin-to-skin time," and might become a bit confused. What do all these slightly strange words mean and what is the difference between the golden hour and the magical hour? Believe it or not, each of these words are very interconnected.

Magical hour, golden hour, and undisturbed first hour all refer to the first hour or so after your baby is born. So if you hear these terms in different places, don't get confused because they're all referring to basically the same thing.

In an interview with Romper, Deena Blumenfeld, ERYT of Shining Light Prenatal Educatio, shed some light on what exactly these terms mean and why the first few hours of your baby's life is so important:

Golden hour is the time when baby is alert, active and ready to initiate breastfeeding. The uninterrupted skin to skin contact between mother and baby are part of the normal physiologic process designed to help baby find the breast, bond with mom and help mom expel the placenta.

The first hours are a time for mother and baby to bond, the breastfeeding relationship to be established, and baby to adjust to life outside the womb. According to The Magical Hour the first hour after birth is crucial for improving the health of both mother and baby.

Similarly, Sanford Health, which referred to the period as golden hour, the first hours weren't always held in the same regard as they are now. Mothers used to watch as nurses rushed in to perform tests, wash, and weigh their babies. Times have changed, however, and Blumenfeld noted that while many hospitals have changed their policies, "moms should note their preferences in their birth plans and discuss it with staff upon hospital admission," in case the golden hour isn't prioritized.

Even though there are a few different words for the same period of time after delivery, more and more experts agree that golden hour (or magical hour, or uninterrupted hour) is hugely important for both mother and baby.