The importance of skin to skin contact

For 9 full months your baby has been developing in protective and peaceful sanctuary within your womb. Coming into the world can be a bit of a shock for your little babe. To make the transition easier for your little one, I always suggest immediate skin to skin for the first hour or two after birth if possible and as often as you can for the weeks to follow . 

Skin to skin contact should be done with no barriers between you and your baby ( blankets or clothing ) . If for whatever reason the mother is unable to do the fathers chest is the next best place for the your baby to be . Placing your baby on your partners bare chest will also help with the daddy / baby bond. 

In birth plan ( if hospital birth ) tell them you would like to delay hospital procedures for as long as you can and that you would like your baby to be placed on your chest immediately after birth  

Why do skin to skin ? 

– Most importantly, helps ease ( as I said above) your baby’s transition from birth to life .

– Helps stabilize baby’s body temperature

– Baby’s blood sugar gets more elevated 

– Stabilizes baby’s heart rate

– Normalizes baby’s breathing patterns 

– Babies that are skin to skin tend to cry less and are more content  

– Have lower level of stress hormones 

– Hears mommy’s heartbeat which is familiar to them and provides comfort 

– Baby is exposed to natural bacteria from the mother which helps prevent them from getting sick . 

– Increases the bonding process between mother and baby 

– When breastfeeding , skin to skin baby’s are more likely to latch on right away , feed longer and more easily . Image


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Rooted For Life

July 2012
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