The Importance of Skin-to-Skin
Updated: Apr 3, 2019
Skin-to-skin, “Should be aggressively promoted.” (Nimbalkar et al, 2014) 💪🏻 So often I hear women saying, “Ew I want my baby cleaned up and dressed before I have cuddles!” I truly believe this is just lack of knowledge about the staggering benefits that direct skin-to-skin has for baby and mother. So if you’re one of those women please take a minute to consider the following; • Skin-to-skin calms baby after birth. • It stabilises baby’s breathing and heart rate. • According to Paediatrics Journal it helps to reduce a baby’s crying by 43%. • A mother’s chest adapts to the optimal temperature for baby. Her chest actually cools and heats depending on her baby’s needs. • Research shows that a mother’s body is more effective in preventing hypothermia in newborns (especially preterm babies) than heating machines.
• Studies have claimed that babies who have skin-to-skin are breastfed for longer. • Skin-to-skin releases oxytocin which helps with maternal bonding. • Stimulates breastmilk for feeding and the oxytocin helps to contract the womb in order to deliver the placenta. • Colonises baby’s skin with good bacteria from the mother which kick starts baby’s immune system.
Those are just a handful of benefits. You can absolutely insist on your birth preferences that you wish for baby to be weighed and measured after at least an hour of skin-to-skin. Those first cuddles right after birth were without doubt the best moments of my life. Make sure to get your partner in there too, it helps to establish their bond also.