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What Are The Benefits Of Skin-To-Skin Contact After Birth?

How long should you do skin to skin with newborn?

There are many Benefits of Skin-to-Skin Contact After Birth
Benefits Of Skin-To-Skin Contact After Birth
There Are Many Benefits Of Skin-To-Skin Contact After Birth

Let’s Talk about the Benefits of Skin-to-Skin Contact After Birth as there is growing evidence that skin-to-skin contact after birth helps babies and their mothers in many ways.

What is immediate skin-to-skin contact?⁣

Skin-to-skin contact is usually referred to as the practice where a baby is dried and laid directly on their mother’s bare chest after birth, both of them covered in a warm blanket and left for at least an hour or until after the first feed.⁣

Why is skin-to-skin contact important?⁣

There is a growing body of evidence that skin-to-skin contact after the birth helps babies and their mothers in many ways:⁣

  • Calms and relaxes both mother and baby⁣
  • Regulates the baby’s heart rate and breathing, helping them to better adapt to life outside the womb⁣
  • Stimulates digestion and interest in feeding⁣
  • Regulates temperature⁣
  • Enables colonization of the baby’s skin with the mother’s friendly bacteria, thus providing protection against infection⁣
  • Stimulates the release of hormones to support breastfeeding and mothering.⁣

What happens during skin-to-skin contact?⁣

When a mother holds her baby in skin to skin contact after birth it initiates strong instinctive behaviours in both.⁣

The mother will experience a surge of maternal hormones and begin to smell, stroke and engage with her baby.⁣

Babies’ instincts after birth will drive them to follow a unique process, which if left uninterrupted will result in them having a first breastfeed.⁣

If they are enabled to familiarise themselves with their mother’s breast and achieve self-attachment it is very likely that they will recall this at subsequent feeds, resulting in fewer breastfeeding problems.⁣

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⁣How long should you do skin to skin with a newborn?

Families (yep you can get dad involved) are encouraged to practice Skin-to-Skin for an uninterrupted 60 minutes during the first 12 weeks and beyond.

The Academy of Pediatrics recommends Skin-to-Skin be given as long as possible and as frequently as possible during the postpartum period, which is typically defined as the first 3 months of life.

Did you do skin-to-skin after delivery? Why or why not? ⁣

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Posted By Claire

Claire is our Community Manager here at New Moms Forum. A mom of two (almost grown-up babies), Claire has been building and operating community-based websites for almost 20 years. In her downtime, Claire enjoys spending time with her family and drinking copious amounts of red wine!

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