Read this midwife's response to why she doesn't put hats on newborns.
Of particular note is her last paragraph. By striving to keep the "birth bubble" intact immediately after a birth (having the mother pick up her own baby, no hats, no bulb syringes, staying out of eyesight of the parents, no talking to parents after the birth), she has noted these changes:
I've had a huge decline in hemorrhage. The transition feels more peaceful, more gentle and more aware for all involved. I find myself more often moved to tears by being able to sit back and observe the entire scene instead of being on edge looking for something wrong. I think the babies prefer it, as well. :)Michel Odent explains why distracting a mother right after birth predisposes her to postpartum hemorrhage:
It is after the birth of the baby and before the delivery of the placenta that women have the capacity to reach the highest possible peak of oxytocin. As in any other circumstances (for example sexual intercourse or lactation) the release of oxytocin is highly dependent on environmental factors. It is easier if the place is very warm (so that the level of hormones of the adrenaline family is as low as possible). It is also easier if the mother has nothing else to do than to look at the baby’s eyes and to feel contact with the baby’s skin, without any distraction.Oxytocin is the hormone that causes uterine contractions. Anti-hemorrhagic drugs (Pitocin, Methergine) are made from synthetic oxytocin.
Hats off to hands-off midwives and doctors!