Skin to skin is a practice that has become so widespread in the last few years. When I first started working with moms and babies, skin to skin after delivery wasn’t a “thing”. In fact, I remember attending a birth as a doula several years ago and I requested that the baby stay with mom and the response I got from the nurse was “she can have the baby when we are done”.
Going from that, to encouraging skin to skin as soon and often as possible is a big jump. The benefits of skin to skin are just amazing, and I am disappointed that this isn’t something we have been doing all along. I mean…really…it’s so natural. When you think about it, as adults we like to be skin to skin with our partner if we can. It’s such a calming, comfortable place to be. Why wouldn’t your newborn baby want to be skin to skin with mom? It’s the next best thing to being in the womb. Babies that are skin to skin with mom after delivery are calmer babies overall, their body temperature regulates easier, respirations are even, breastfeeding is easier and oxytocin is flowing. If mom cannot be skin to skin with baby right away, this is a good time for partners to step up and tuck that baby into your shirt. Sometimes called “Kangaroo Care”, skin to skin has been known to save the lives of preemie babies in the NICU. This is one of the most important things you can do for your baby in the first weeks of life (and beyond).
This week on the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast, Dianne and Abby talk about the benefits of skin to skin. Check it out here:
You can also check out this link on 10 benefits of skin to skin (there are more than this, but you have to start somewhere!)