The benefits of skin to skin contact with your baby
Skin-to-skin contact is usually referred to as the practice where a baby is dried and laid directly on their mother’s bare chest after birth, both of them covered in a warm blanket and left for at least an hour or until after the first feed. Skin-to-skin contact can also take place any time a baby needs comforting or calming and to help boost a mother’s milk supply. Partners can also give skin to skin contact if Mum is not able to initially, the touch sense is the first sense a baby experiences
Why is skin-to-skin contact important?
There is a growing body of evidence that skin-to-skin contact after the birth helps babies and their mothers in many ways.
- Calms and relaxes both mother and baby
- Regulates the baby’s heart rate and breathing, helping them to better adapt to life outside the womb
- Stimulates digestion and an interest in feeding
- Regulates temperature
- Enables colonisation of the baby’s skin with the mother’s friendly bacteria, thus providing protection against infection
- Stimulates the release of hormones to support breastfeeding and mothering.
Clicks the links below for further reading.