The Importance of Skin to Skin Contact

The moment your new baby arrives in your world, is so overwhelming and magical!  They are so new and vulnerable and all they want, is to be welcomed into the reassuring arms of their mum and dad.  Skin to skin contact after birth is actively encouraged in maternity units all around the country and this is because there are many benefits of skin to skin contact with your baby.

These are the multitude of benefits;

  • Calms and relaxes both mother and baby
  • Regulates heart rate and breathing in the baby
  • Stimulates digestion
  • Regulates temperature
  • Enables colonisation of baby’s skin with mothers friendly bacteria, thus providing protection against infection
  • Stimulates feeding behaviour
  • Stimulates the release of hormones to support breastfeeding and mothering
  • Skin to skin contact and also known as kangaroo care, helps preterm babies to be more stable, maintain their temperature, fight infection,grow and develop better and be discharged from hospital sooner. 

It has even been shown that babies that have regular skin to skin contact with their parents, cry less in the postnatal period.

Babies are naturally programmed to follow a unique process which leads to a first breastfeed. If they achieve this successfully it is very likely that they will recall this at subsequent feeds, making these significantly easier, in other words a form of imprinting.

If it is not possible to do skin to skin contact straight after the birth of your baby, don't worry, it is wonderful to do it at anytime. So strip your baby down to its nappy and snuggle it in on your chest, inhale their scent and drift off into a blissful moment with your little miracle! Heaven!