It doesn’t take a scientist to tell us that holding our babies for extended periods of time encourages life long bonds between children and parents.
Skin-to-skin care is a practice that has most commonly been used with premature babies to help stimulate growth and encourage bonds between parents and babies as they undergo treatment in hospital for long periods of time.
Skin-to-skin care is when the baby lies naked on a bare breasted mother or father. A blanket is used to warmth.
Skin-to-skin care is not a practice that should only be reserved for premature babies and their parents; it is a practice that is encouraged for all babies, whether they are born via a vaginal or C Section birth.
The benefits are overwhelming:
Skin-to-skin care benefits both mother and baby. After birth a baby enters the world all he or she has known has changed dramatically. The touch of your skin, the warmth and your heartbeat helps to keep baby calm and gives them a feeling of being safe and protected.
Mom also feels less anxious as baby is close by. She can feel his or her little body, see him breathing and baby is calm and settled.
When babies feel safe and secure they sleep better. Skin-on-skin dramatically increases the length of baby’s sleep.
Sleeping in a crib or bassinet is foreign for new babies. They are more likely to wake often due to be cold or unsettled and are more likely to anxious.
Stimulates milk production
Skin-to-skin helps to release hormones in the body that encourage milk production.
Promotes bonding with Dad
Both moms and dads can participate in skin-on-skin care. It gives dad the opportunity to bond with their babies and establish deep connections early on.
When baby feels safe and secure, he or she is less likely to cry or get upset.
Regulates baby’s body temperature
Maternal breasts are wonderful natural hot water bottles.
After a baby is born they have to work very hard to regulate their body temperature. Maternal breasts will regulate baby’s temperature and will heat up or cool down depending on baby’s needs.
Because a baby has to work less to regulate his own body temp he can use this energy to grow.
Helps to prevent postpartum depression
After birth both baby and mother release a powerful scent that attracts each other. This is nature’s way of bonding.
Holding your baby close immediately after birth (golden hour; 1st hour after birth) helps to release hormones that encourage motherly instincts and closeness.
Skin-to-skin helps to encourage breastfeeding.
A baby will seek out the nipple through smell and will attempt to latch on.
Studies have suggested that women who use skin-to-skin care immediately after birth are more likely to breastfeed for longer.
2 in 5 children grow up with feelings of insecurity.
Children who feel insecure are less likely to do well at school, have self-confidence and have healthy close relationships when they are older.
Humans are emotional creatures. We need to be wanted and cherish loving close relationships.
Skin-to-skin care in your child’s early development and continued cuddles, kisses and hugs throughout their childhood will help to grow a happy, confident and loving child.
By Tracey Montford
Like many women out there, Tracey Montford is an exceptional multi-tasker! Apart from steering a global business, managing 2 young boys & keeping the clan clean and fed, Tracey still finds time to provide creative inspiration and direction to the exceptional designs of Cake Maternity. From the branding, presentation and delivery, creativity is a big part of what Tracey does so naturally and effectively. Find out more at www.cakematernity.com or catch up with her on social @cakematernity.