Skin to Skin With Your Newborn: So much more than just a first cuddle…..
You’ve probably heard of ‘skin to skin’ contact and maybe one or two of the benefits of this – or perhaps you’re not sure what it means exactly.
Skin to skin contact literally means your baby’s bare skin next to your bare skin.
There are so many benefits to this immediately after birth – and beyond.
Below is a list of 10 benefits of skin to skin contact with your newborn. If your birth path doesn’t allow this to happen right away don’t worry – it’s never too late to reap the benefits for you and your baby.
Skin to Skin Contact with your Newborn: The Benefits
1. Provides your baby with good bacteria which will help them build up their immune system. Skin to skin contact allows your baby to be colonised by the same bacteria as you. This, plus breastfeeding, are thought to be important in the prevention of allergic diseases
2. Skin to skin contact is especially important for those mothers who have birthed their baby via caesarean. During vaginal birth babies are colonised as they pass through the birth canal – it is their first immunisation against the bugs they are likely to encounter in their new environment. As this does not occur during a caesarean birth it is all the more important to have skin to skin and get in contact with your good bacteria via your chest and breast milk.
3. Helps the uterus contract after the birth which will help with the third stage of labour – when you birth your amazing placenta
4. Enables the bonding process to get off to a great start
5. Encourages your little one to nurse if they have ready access to your chest/breasts
6. Regulates the baby’s temperature & heart rate
7. Is a lovely way for dads to bond with their baby – babies need their daddy’s skin contact too
8. Soothes your baby – your smells, heartbeat and voice are all so familiar to your little one
9. Helps maintain your baby’s blood sugar levels
10. Means your baby is less likely to cry
Skin to skin contact with your newborn is something you can list on your birth plan.