19th March 2018

Skin to Skin

Why is skin to skin so special?

Skin to skin are the magic three words that signify the best place for your newborn baby to be. Thankfully gone are the days when the midwife took your baby from you, rubbed off the vernix and weighed them, put on a nappy, vest and babygro and placed them back in your arms ten minutes later snugly wrapped in a blanket.

Skin to skin offers babies the perfect start in life:

  • Babies are kept at the optimum temperature as your core temperature rises or falls to act like an incubator.
  • Babies are back to listening to your heartbeat – the familiar noise they heard inside you which will relax them.
  • Babies heart rate and breathing are regulated.
  • Digestion is stimulated.
  • Baby is colonised with mum’s friendly bacteria which will protect against infection.
  • By being close to the breasts it encourages them to make the instinctive journey towards them, so giving the best possible start to breastfeeding.
  • Oxytocin is released during skin to skin which ensures loving feelings towards your baby and generates your milk supply.
  • Post natal depression incidence is reduced.
  • Following a caesarean, ensure that skin to skin is not delayed unnecessarily. Baby can be put inside your hospital gown whilst still in the theatre with dad’s protective arms around you both.
  • Skin to skin is as important for the dads. Most woman already feel like mothers whilst still pregnant as you are aware of your babies movements inside you. Most dads don’t feel like parents until the baby has actually been born.

Whilst being particularly important during the first hour following delivery, try not to let things interrupt this such as having a shower following labour, Continue to enjoy this special time of being so close to one another on the post natal ward and in the early days at home to ensure the best possible start to bonding.