As a new parent, you might be looking for ways to bond with your little one. Look no further! Skin to skin contact is not just some hippie dippie trend - it has proven benefits for both you and your baby. This article will dive into why skin to skin is good for babies, so get ready to strip down and cuddle up!
What exactly is skin to skin?
In case you're imagining some kind of weird nudist colony situation, let me explain what we're talking about here. Skin-to-skin (STS) contact happens when you hold your newborn in only their diaper against the bare skin of your chest - yes, YOUR chest! It's called "kangaroo care" because it's based on how marsupials carry their young.
Why does it matter?
When separated from us humans, baby kangaroos enjoy riding around in pouches made of fur on their mothers' bellies; but human babies have been born without this convenience important detail that nature did not bless humans with, which makes STS an important alternative.
Even if kangaroos aren't wearing clothes (thank heavens), humans typically keep our tots all wrapped up nice and cozy in blankets or onesies — however sometimes they crave that immediate touch who wouldn't? .The warmth provided through the mother’s body temperature helps regulate the newborn’s body temperature since they are unable to maintain this important function themselves immediately after birth.
The benefits for YOU AND YOUR BABY
Some parents might think holding and loving on their wee babes should be enough...but providing them with proper STS can give even more benefits than those precious moments already bring:
Skin-to-Skin promotes visual social interaction within minutes after birth between mother/father and healthy full-term infants.
What better way to bond with your child than by feeling their weight snuggled up against you, being able to smell their little fuzz-ball head and having them recognize your heartbeat in a strange new world. This tugged at our heartstrings!
STS assists mothers who are struggling with breastmilk production as it encourages the hormones that aid lactation.
When a baby is close to mom’s bare breasts, they can smell the milk — which will encourage them– think of this like adults craving burgers whenever we pass Mc Donald's on our way back from work. Yum? Ew? Move along to want more food and look for the source of the must-have aroma...and thus start sucking!"
Triggers calming reflexes
Skin-to-skin contact immediately stimulates nerve endings causing release hormones such oxytocin (you know: "the love hormone") known for soothing emotions and endorphins (which are what makes us feel awesome!). If done continuously, studies have shown babies aren't just trying out fashion trends – sometimes these bright lights can be overwhelming – but consistent STS provides an overall stabilizing effect on newborn physiological systems (but please still avoid Solange Knowles-style sunglasses).
What’s better about Skin-to-Skin is that it not only benefits Baby but Moms/Dads too!
Being held skin-to-skin helps control cortisol hormonal levels in both mother or father and baby's bloodstream. Cortisol is often referred to as “stress hormone” due its connection with anxiety & depression symptoms associated with high cortisol levels (yikes!) therefore reducing this negative impact on parents lying goldmines even post-partem.
Moms who engage in STS tend recover mentally faster from labour pains/c-section delivery through continuing emotional connectedness between herself/baby. It also promotes an opportunity for vulnerable women experiencing postpartum depression to feel better through physical contact with their child ; truly heartwarming!
Skin-to-skin is an opportunity for moms and dads to take a deep breath, focus on the present moment, and live in harmony with their child. Quieting down mentally supports parents emotionally adding another level of mindfulness practice.
Tips for Skin To Skin
It's all sounding pretty great so far...but how do you actually DO skin-to-skin? Here are some tips:
- Pick a comfortable spot - sitting back or even reclining slightly to help support babies head if its wobbly.
- Undress your baby down to just a diaper
- Place them face-down onto your bare chest (supporting their neck as needed)adjust baby’s legs up slightly
- Cover both yourself & baby warmly but NOT completely – We recommend using open hoodies/sweaters! 5.Talk/whisper softly which helps build connection
Though not everyone is pro-ST-Steamy-Connection according to doctor Wolff from Copenhagen University Hospital there are few contraindications such as use caution when experiencing high fever due possible risk of infecting infants immunological system because new mothers need more reasons to sweat .
So get hugging today, folks!