Why Skin-to-Skin for Babies?
Skin-to-skin is recommended for the first hours and days after birth.Discuss this with your health care provider when creating your birth plan, and ask for your baby immediately after he or she is born!
Immediate & continued skin to skin contact with the mother has the following benefits for mothers and babies:
• Improved regulation of heart rate, breathing, body temperature and blood sugar
• Helping the baby be calmer and cry less
• Calms and relaxes both mother and baby
• Enables colonisation of the baby’s skin with the mother’s friendly bacteria, thus providing protection against infection
• Stimulates feeding behaviour
• Stimulates the release of the hormone oxytocin to support breastfeeding and mothering
How To Do Skin-to-Skin (from Toronto’s “Holding Your Baby Skin-to-Skin”)
- Take off your baby’s blankets and clothing. Leave diaper on.
- Move clothing away from your chest and tummy.
- Hold your baby, facing you, against your chest or tummy.
- You can put a blanket over you and your baby.
- Enjoy the closeness and bonding with your baby.
If you haven’t held your baby skin-to-skin yet, start now! It’s not too late.
Want more information on the importance of skin-to-skin, and how to do it? Check out this website: The Magical Hour
Skin-to-skin can even be done with a C-section, watch this video: Skin-to-skin C-sections