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What is Skin-to-Skin Contact?

What is Skin-to-Skin Contact?

Skin-to-skin contact has become a baby-friendly initiative standard, and for good reason! To learn about all of the benefits and more of what skin-to-skin contact looks like, keep reading!

Right after birth, the baby is placed and kept on the mom’s bare chest, which helps create a bond between the mother and the baby.  It is vital for the baby’s emotional as well as developmental care. This practice is so necessary that even if the baby and mom are kept away after birth for medically necessary reasons, they are encouraged to have skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible.

How long should you do skin-to-skin contact?

There is no time limit on skin-to-skin contact. You can do it for however long you want! For the first skin-to-skin moment, most mothers like to try their first feeding, so however long the baby wants to feed is great!

These first few hours are crucial for the mom and baby to get to know each other. It can also be a great moment for the other parent to give their new little one skin-to-skin contact. 

Skin-to-skin contact doesn’t have to and shouldn’t stop after you are discharged. Continuous contact and the benefits that come with it continue to make an impact even past those first few hours.

What is the point of skin-to-skin?

There are countless benefits of skin-to-skin contact. 

First and foremost, it helps create a bond between the baby and the new mother and helps with breastfeeding. It assists in uniting the baby and the mother and helps the mother understand her baby’s emotions better. The baby also feels comfort and has a sense of security. It has been noted that most babies begin breastfeeding within the first hour after skin-to-skin contact. 

For the baby, coming out of the womb is a big change in its surroundings, and skin to skin contact helps the baby maintain its body temperature when placed directly on the skin. It assists in keeping the baby calm, cozy, and more comfortable.

Since skin to skin helps with breastfeeding, it ultimately helps the baby gain weight and get plenty of nutrients, making the immune system stronger. 

Skin-to-skin contact helps the baby to regulate heartbeat and breathing patterns. In the long run, it helps the baby’s physical and mental development. 

Is skin-to-skin contact good for adults?

As skin-to-skin contact helps promote breastfeeding, it eventually aids in postpartum weight loss and reduces the chances of postpartum bleeding and postpartum depression. 

Furthermore, it makes the mother more confident, promoting not only physical health but also the mental and emotional health of the new mom. According to several studies, it reduces stress by decreasing cortisol levels. Skin-to-skin contact benefits not only the baby but also adults.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to your healthcare provider and ask them about their policy on skin-to-skin contact after birth! Or give us a call!

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