Skin-to-Skin Contact: The Facts

We know childbirth is hard work for moms, and after all the chaos, the first few moments with your baby are truly a gift of grace. However, after nine months in the womb, the world may seem like a strange, overwhelming place for a newborn. Skin-to-skin contact, also known as kangaroo care, is a technique used around the world during the first few weeks of a child’s life because of its credible, medical, and substantial benefits. Here are just some of the many reasons you should use skin-to-skin contact with your little one directly after childbirth and throughout the following few weeks.

Skin-to-skin contact is one of the most effective ways to comfort a newborn
Think about it--the comfort of your body heat is the closest a newborn can get to the warmth of the womb. Holding your naked baby, with a diaper on, to your chest gives your son or daughter a familiar feeling and aids in their transition into the world.

Skin-to-skin contact helps with breastfeeding
Skin-to-skin has been associated with the mother’s ability to release a hormone that initiates milk production. Additionally, close contact with your baby can help your little one naturally feed and latch on easier.

Skin-to-skin contact aids in stabilizing their little body
During pregnancy, the mother’s body regulates body temperature, blood sugar levels, heartbeat, and breathing patterns. Once your little one enters the world, your son or daughter must learn how to do this on their own. Skin-to-skin contact in the first couple of weeks after birth helps newborns learn to stabilize their body.

Skin-to-skin contact transfers good bacteria
It’s essential for a newborn to be exposed to as much good bacteria as possible. Vaginal birth plays a large role in transferring good bacteria from mommy to baby. However, skin-to-skin contact also contributes to this process as well. If you’re having a c-section, skin-to-skin contact is necessary to help your little one develop a range of healthy bacteria.  

Skin-to-skin contact enhances the parent-baby bond
There is so much to learn about your little one, and you’ll likely learn something new every day for the rest of your life. Early on, skin-to-skin contact helps parents learn about their newborn’s signs and communications of hunger, discomfort, and joy. Likewise, close contact with a parent helps a newborn begin to develop a sense of trust and connection.  

Don’t overlook the number of benefits skin-to-skin contact offers in the earliest moments of a baby’s life.

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