Benefits of Skin to Skin Contact With Newborn

Bonding time with your newborn is so important for his or her growth and development. Swaddling keeps baby warm, but don’t forget to set time aside for skin to skin contact too…

There are now a multitude of studies that show that mothers and babies should be together, skin to skin (baby naked, not wrapped in a blanket) immediately after birth, as well as later. The baby is happier, the baby’s temperature is more stable and more normal, the baby’s heart and breathing rates are more stable and more normal, and the baby’s blood sugar is more elevated. Not only that, skin to skin contact immediately after birth allows the baby to be colonized by the same bacteria as the mother. This, plus breastfeeding, are thought to be important in the prevention of allergic diseases. When a baby is put into an incubator, his skin and gut are often colonized by bacteria different from his mother’s.

We now know that this is true not only for the baby born at term and in good health but also even for the premature baby. Skin to skin contact and Kangaroo Mother Care can contribute much to the care of the premature baby. ~International Breastfeeding Center

Not only is this type of contact great for baby, it can help moms too. It could even cut down on the chance of postpartum depression.

Placing a near-naked baby on his mother’s bare skin, a technique known as skin-to-skin contact, enhances bonding and may help prevent symptoms of depression after childbirth, Canadian researchers found.

They asked 30 new moms to provide five hours a day of such contact in the infant’s first week of life followed by at least two hours of skin-to-skin contact daily for the next three weeks. These mothers had fewer symptoms of stress and depression than those who didn’t practice the technique. ~FitPregnancy

The How-To of Kangaroo Care

And, check this out,

…kangaroo care or skin-to-skin, and it has been credited with dropping preemie mortality rates from 70% to 30% in the town where it was first practiced. (source) ~MommyPotamus

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