Skin to skin contact for you and your baby
Giving birth is an immensely emotional experience. To get the full benefit for you and your baby, it is advised by evidence that the baby is put immediately skin to skin after birth.
What is meant by skin to skin?
Right after birth, the midwife/doctor will dry the baby out thoroughly and put the baby belly-down on direct contact with your skin on the chest. The health attendant will put a bonnet to cover your baby head and a blanket to keep him/her warm. The baby should settle on your chest for at least an hour and a half for both of you to get to know each other and for major health benefits.
Scientific evidence and research have proved that when babies are placed in direct and sustained skin to skin after birth, it would increase the chance for the baby to complete proper breastfeeding within 90 minutes.
The World Health Organization and UNICEF advise that all babies should receive breast milk during this period to encourage continuous and exclusive feeding until 6 months.
In addition, babies who are breastfed earlier have higher chance to survive and get way fewer medical problems in the future.
This is a great opportunity when you cuddle your baby after birth. It releases a hormone called Oxytocin that makes you both happy, stress free, encourages breast milk production and help you belly to return back to normal size gradually.
Snuggling after birth has huge benefit on the neuronal brain development. Even after you go home, continue putting your baby on skin to skin contact keep him/her calm and cozy. Fathers can do this as well! It has impactful effect on your baby intellectual development in the future.
Your skin is covered with good bacteria called “normal flora”. When your baby is placed adherent to your skin, these bacteria will be transmitted to him/her and strengthen the immune system making him/her strong, healthy and doesn’t get sick easily in the future.
To all mums out there: given all the above mentioned benefits, please make sure to discuss this with your doctor and midwife and request that your baby is kept on skin to skin with you, you will love it! And do not forget to bring a nice bonnet and a blanket for that!
- Early Essential Newborn Care Is Associated With Reduced Adverse Neonatal Outcomes in a Tertiary Hospital in Da Nang, Viet Nam: A Pre- Post- Intervention Study Hoang Thi Tran, Priya Mannava, John C.S. Murray, Phuong Thi Thu Nguyen, Le Thi Mong Tuyen, Tuan Hoang Anh, Thi Quynh Nga Pham, Vinh Nguyen Duc, Howard L. Sobel EClinicalMedicine. 2018 Dec; 6: 51–58. Published online 2019 Jan 14. doi: 10.1016/j.eclinm.2018.12.002
- The Sacred Hour: Uninterrupted Skin-to-Skin Contact Immediately After Birth RaylenePhillipsMD, IBCLC, FAAP: https://doi.org/10.1053/j.nainr.2013.04.001