Holding a baby in skin to skin contact is much more than just cuddling.
Skin to skin contact generally means when a naked baby is directly placed onto the bare chest of their parent. This is the priority as soon as a baby is born.
Did you know it actually helps mums and babies to bond?
There are so many amazing benefits for babies and mothers during the first weeks and even months of your baby’s life, so directly after birth isn’t the only chance you have!
Benefits of doing skin to skin with your baby as much as possible can:
- Regulate baby’s breathing, oxygen levels, heart rate, and temperature
- Keep the baby feeling warm and calm
- Helping the baby breastfeeding
- Protect baby from infection
- Helps baby gain weight quicker
If you thought the benefits were only for baby, skin to skin can also benefit mothers as well. Skin to skin helps with:
- Decreasing maternal breast engorgement (painful build-up of milk) that can lead to mastitis and inflammation of the breast and sore nipples.
- Decreasing the chance of postnatal depression
- Boosting production of colostrum (the first milk that is full of nutrients to protect baby) and allowing it to flow more easily.
Other benefits for both include :
- Helping mother and baby recover from birth
- Helps both mom and dad bond with the baby by releasing hormones like oxytocin, prolactin, and endorphins
Here’s what all mom’s should be careful about before doing skin-to-skin contact.
A baby’s skin is thin and delicate, you need to be careful about what you are using on your skin. Baby’s skin absorbs things super fast since their skin barrier is not fully developed and their skin is 30% thinner.
That means if there are chemicals in your perfume, lotions, hair products, etc. baby will absorb these chemicals very quickly.
Constant exposure to these chemicals can lead to the development of cancer, ADD & ADHD, weakening of the immune system, eczema and other skin irritations, and much much more.
When holding baby directly on your skin, it is essential to use baby-safe, water-free, 100% all natural products on your skin and the skin of your little one.