The Importance of Skin-to-Skin with Baby after delivery

Placing your baby skin-to-skin on your body has been scientifically proven to be one of the best things you can do!

Numerous research studies have found benefit after benefit from spending time with your newborn in skin-to-skin contact. It reaps multiple benefits for both baby and parents

Here are some amazing benefits of skin-to-skin with baby after delivery

Maintaining body temperature is essential for good health. Babies can lose body heat rapidly. Newborns don’t have the skills to keep themselves warm through shivering or covering up with clothes or a blanket, so nature steps in through the process known as thermoregulation. Thermoregulation is the process that allows the body to maintain its core temperature, even when environmental temperatures change. Thermoregulation is a particularly common problem with premature infants, though it can also affect full-term infants.

Weight gain improves because your baby doesn’t use as much energy to regulate body temperature. Instead, that energy can go toward growing. Improved breastfeeding also contributes to healthier weight gain. Newborns that have skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth are twice as likely to breastfeed within the first hour. Mom’s prolactin level rises as a result—this is a hormone that is critical in maintaining a strong milk supply.

Skin-to-skin contact also helps baby’s body self-regulate, which stabilizes the heartbeat and breathing patterns. Seventy-five percent of heart and breathing episodes are reduced using skin-to-skin contact. Pain has also been shown to be reduced through skin-to-skin contact. Consequently, these babies cry less often.

Cortisol, or stress hormones, is measurably lower after only 20 minutes of skin-to-skin contact. When cortisol and somatostatin are reduced, gastrointestinal problems lessen because it allows for better absorption and digestion of nutrients. When these hormones are reduced, your baby’s body can better preserve healthy fat that helps to maintain birth weight and keep body temperature warm.

Mom’s mature immune system passes antibodies through the skin and breast milk to baby. Skin-to-skin contact also increases baby’s skin hydration, providing a protective barrier that prevents harmful bacteria from entering through baby’s skin.

During skin-to-skin contact, most infants fall asleep easily and achieve deep sleep, also known as quiet sleep, for an hour or more. Quiet sleep is beneficial for accelerating brain patterning and maturation. Development of mature brain function in infants is impacted by the quality of a baby’s sleep cycling.

Research results: mom’s benefits
When mom and baby are together, hormones that regulate lactation balance out, helping mom to produce more milk and breastfeed more successfully. Newborns’ heightened sense of smell helps them seek out the nipple and begin breastfeeding more quickly when placed skin-to-skin.

When you are holding your baby skin-to-skin, your oxytocin levels increase, which reduces your blood pressure and lowers stress levels. Increased oxytocin also helps restore pre-pregnancy hormone levels, reducing the risk of postpartum depression.

Finally,Be proactive when your baby is born
Immediately after birth, there are three steps to take to provide skin-to-skin care for your baby:
* Have someone place your naked baby on your bare chest so the two of you are nestled chest-to-chest.
* Turn your baby’s face sideways in a position that keeps the airway open.
* Remain this way for at least an hour or more before hospital staff takes baby away to be weighed and measured.

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