You have just given birth to your amazing bundle of joy and the doctor places the baby on your chest. Did you know how important this moment is? How important it is to have this brand new, minute’s old baby laying directly on your bare skin? Probably not right? Skin to skin contact is crucial and so valuable in those first few minutes of life (and so far beyond).
When your baby is laying on you, their skin on your skin, your baby and you are benefitting exponentially from this simple act. By practicing skin to skin, whether in the hospital or at home, it can boost your little one's immune system. At birth, it allows for your baby's skin to be colonized by the same bacteria that is on your skin. With all the sicknesses and diseases out there, it is an immediate boost for them and you have the perfect excuse to cuddle your baby!
Stabilizing Body Function
Did you know that skin to skin contact can help stabilize your baby's body functions? This means that it helps regulate their body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and even assist with oxygen! That means that baby's who need oxygen at birth (and even after) can benefit from skin to skin to help them regulate and heal. Your body is amazing!
When you practice skin to skin you can see an increase in your milk supply. This can be from lowered stress levels, increased levels of oxytocin, and the body's natural cue that there is a baby there to feed. Skin to skin can help a baby with latching and allowing you to read their hunger cues quicker. When you are in the hospital and your milk has no come in yet, do lots of skin to skin and feed while doing so to help! When your littles are older and they are cluster feeding or your supply has dipped a bit, just try some skin to skin.
Skin to skin is a great way to help you in reducing and eliminating stress and anxiety. Your hormones are fluctuating big time, for at least the first 6 months (even a year) after birth. Skin to skin can help to lower your stress and anxiety. You have your baby on you, safe and sound, and your hearts are matching. This is the time to be comforted and embraced in motherhood. There are some chemical changes at work too of course that are helping.Bonding
Skin to skin is a beautiful way to facilitate bonding! You and your baby are together as close as you can be. It allows for your baby to feel safe and warm with a familiar person because you only carried this child in your womb not too long ago. Take advantage of this time and wrap up in a blanket and just let the time go by! 15 minutes of skin to skin is wonderful but you can do however long you like. Dad can even take part in skin to skin to help with bonding.
Newborn sleep is a whole different ballpark. They sleep in shorter intervals and are awake in short intervals as well. Your newborn is going to be in a cold new world with lots of stimulation. This can have a major impact on their sleep. Skin to skin will help to warm and calm them, keeping them close to mom at the same time. Good sleep with help promote better brain function, a happy baby, and of course, happy parents!
The Mommy Wrap is a great resource for skin to skin! You can be topless beneath the cardigan, place your baby on your chest, and wrap you both up tight. This not only gives you security while facilitating skin to skin but it makes sure to help keep you warm. The Mommy Wrap is a great option for the hospital too. When you have visitors, you can throw this on and do skin to skin while visiting. New mom at home? Perfect! The Mommy Wrap gives you a great way to have your baby doing skin to skin while you relax (or move around the house getting stuff done).
As you can see, skin to skin with mom and even with dad is very important! Snuggle that baby, love on that baby, and hold that baby tight. It’s rewarding, it’s beneficial, and it’s an experience of a lifetime.
Let us know what your favorite part of skin to skin is and if you feel it has helped you in motherhood!
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