Why I Kept my Baby Naked: The Benefits of Skin to Skin Contact
Updated: Apr 5, 2021
If you knew me when my son was a baby, lets be real if you know me now, you know, he is always laying around in a diaper (underwear now - potty training). There were a few reasons for this (frequent blow-outs & spit-ups, we weren't going anywhere, and I didn't want to waste outfits that I'd have to wash). If your child is acting wild, skin-to-skin continues to have it's benefits beyond the first month. My son was straight tripping a week ago and I put my 2 year old on my stomach. He laid down on me and fell asleep.
Skin-to-skin has become a birth plan buzzword. From boosting breastfeeding to brain growth, there are numerous advantages of skin-to-skin contact among infants and mothers.
Newborns love to be nestled and held. Recent evidence proposes that being in skin-to-skin contact with a parent accomplishes something beyond satisfy the child. Did you know that immediate Skin to Skin following delivery, for a minimum of 1 hour, is one of the most effective methods to support exclusive breastfeeding?! It can help take care of breastfeeding issues, lessens your pain, settles premature babies, and so much more. That is quite impressive for something so basic, right?
What Is Skin-To-Skin Contact, Anyway?
Skin-to-skin contact is the practice where a newborn is dried and placed belly-down directly on their parents uncovered chest right after birth.
Following birth, there are three steps to take to give skin-to-skin to your newborn:
Place your naked infant on your uncovered chest, so you two are settled chest-to-chest / heart-to-heart *insert awww sound*.
Turn your baby's face sideways in a place that keeps the airway open.
Stay this way for at least an hour or more before hospital staff removes the baby to be weighed and measured.
THE SACRED HOUR
The first hour after childbirth is known as the Sacred Hour. It is a particular bonding time that starts when your child is set skin-to-skin on your chest just after your baby is delivered. Your heartbeat will quiet your infant, and your baby will smell your breastmilk. It would help if you continued to do skin-to-skin time without interference until your child completes the first feeding session.
Why Is Skin to Skin in The First Hours So Important?
It is imperative to keep your newborn skin-to-skin as much as possible. Cuddling gives you and your child the best beginning for breastfeeding. UNICEF research states that a child in skin-to-skin contact with the mother invigorates a particular part of the infant's mind. The newborn is animated to move to the mother's breast, latch on and start feeding. They additionally continue to exclusively nurse longer than those who don't use immediate skin-to-skin. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that all breastfeeding infants spend time skin-to-skin right after birth.
Did you miss out on that immediate Skin to Skin? That's ok you can still have a great journey. Skin to Skin is valuable long after the first few hours! It is proven to reduce crying, stress in infants and moms, it even reduces the chances of baby blues!
Besides stimulating hormones to support breastfeeding, the skin to skin contact provides the following benefits to both baby and mommy:
Calms and loosens up both mother and child
Regulates the infant's pulse and breathing, assisting them with adjusting to life outside the mother's womb
It makes the baby cry less often
Hold your child close from the beginning and continue keeping your child close all through the early stages. The power of touch is beneficial for your infant—and useful for you as well.