Did you know that the first few hours following birth offers the opportunity to establish and promote many physical and emotional health advantages for both mom and baby? This is the time following baby’s birth that is optimal for baby, mom and dad to get to know one another through skin-to-skin contact after birth.
- Babies are very alert during the first one to two hours after birth. These awe-filled moments offer the perfect chance for you and your baby to begin bonding.
- Mothers that provide skin-to-skin for their baby supports an increased calmness in babies.
- Breastfed babies have been found to nurse better when placed skin-to-skin with their mother during the first one to two hours following birth.
- A mother’s body can maintain her baby’s temperature more effectively than blankets and warmers during the first one to two hours of life when baby is maintained skin to skin.
- Placing baby skin-to-skin provides the best temperature regulation for baby. Babies with temperature regulation difficulties can have problems attempting to feed, with breathing, and poorly controlled blood sugar levels.
- Babies at birth have the ability to see contrasting colors and outlines of faces from up to 8 to 12 inches away, and are also able to recognize faces, smells, and respond to familiar voices. Thus, placing your baby at breast and skin-to-skin provides them with the best of all of you!
- Newborns placed skin-to-skin on their mother’s chest are comforted by the familiar sound of your heartbeat.
- Holding and touching of infants naturally stimulates positive emotional and psychological responses in infants such as endorphins and other helpful hormones in both mom and baby.
- An increase in the infants immune response happens when an infant is made to feel safe and secure of the world around them. Skin-to-skin promotes these feelings.
- Touching and holding your newborn creates a stronger bond between both parent and infant.
- Prolonged skin-to-skin for babies has found that infants cry less than those swaddled in blankets.
- Prolonged skin-to-skin also supports babies in creating better sleep patterns.
Your midwives at Women’s Excellence in Midwifery will help you in this special time together. Feel free to discuss any concerns or ask questions about skin-to-skin contact after birth when you come into your prenatal appointments.