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A Victoria University researcher is urging new mothers to step away from social media for as long as possible in the hours following the birth of their child.
Dr Robyn Maude, speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast, said the moments after birth are crucial to the neurological, psychological and physical bond developing between the mother and newborn.
"That quiet and intimate time when the baby is first born and goes up onto the mother's chest really needs to be honoured so they can start to get to know each other and fall in love," Dr Maude said.
Too many people are immediately taking photos and taking to social media, which can disturb that bonding process, she said.
"We're very conscious about how people are spending a lot of time looking down at their phones and not looking at each other ... paying attention and noticing what's going on is actually really important for that attachment between mother and baby.
"They should be able to explore each other, the baby can know the sound of her voice, can know the smell of her and they can slowly ease into the newness of being outside the mother's womb.
"Social media is part of our lives now, even in the intimacy of the birth room ... but it can wait for an hour."