What is skin to skin contact with a baby?
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.
Our page about the importance of physical touch.
Wondering about breastfeeding? Read our article: Is breastfeeding important?
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.
The importance of skin to skin contact…
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 and/or premature.
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