Skin on skin contact is when mothers and babies are put together
with their skin touching (no blanket or clothing in-between them). You can also lay your baby on your abdomen or chest
as much as possible, you do not need to breastfeed, to benefit from skin to skin contact.
The best hospital warmers cannot warm a baby as quickly and efficiently as full-body skin contact with the mother. A mother's breasts are made in such a way that they can regulate a baby's temperature, in fact, mothers with twin babies will regulate temperature separately on each breast. Warming and cooling them independently. No wonder babies are found to have higher levels of stress hormones when taken away from their mothers.
During skin to skin contact your baby will not need to burn unnecessary calories to try to stay warm on his/her own. Having your baby close by will encourage breastfeeding, comfort your baby and regulate heart rate and breathing.
Skin to skin after birth
Early “Skin on skin" contact between the mother and baby after birth
should be encouraged, even if the mother has had a c-section; they can spend
this time together, even while she is being stitched up. Unless medically
necessary, things like suctioning and vitamin K injections can wait
until a baby has latched on for the first time. Read more about the importance of breastfeeding immediately after birth.
Breastfeeding Skin to Skin Benefits
The importance of skin to skin contact…
A baby is usually more content and cries less. A baby will feel safe and can hear their mother's heartbeat, which is familiar to them.
With skin to skin, the baby is more likely to maintain a stable temperature.
Heart rates have been found to be more normal in babies who are kept skin to skin.
A skin to skin newborn baby’s blood sugar is stable.
Having your baby skin to skin, not only helps strengthen the maternal bond, but most mothers find that they can more easily recognize their babies needs.
When newborn skin to skin contact is practiced after birth, it allows a baby to familiarize him/herself with their mother's bacteria; this helps prevent allergic diseases.
One major skin to skin benefits is for premature babies: “skin
to skin" contact with preemies can reduce the need for extra
Babies who are kept skin on skin for an hour after birth are more
likely to latch on without help. Read more about an amazing occurrence called
the breast crawl. Watch the skin on skin video.
Many mothers have reported a decrease in breast engorgement pain during
the first few days when/if they incorporate lots of skin to skin contact and skin to skin
Early skin to skin contact is so very important and the skin to skin
benefits speak for themselves, the importance of skin to skin contact
goes far beyond just successful breastfeeding, but has proven itself
as a way of calming and medicating babies, especially those who are sick