If you haven’t heard the term skin-to-skin yet, it’s pretty simple as it’s all in the name. This practice consists of you holding your baby in close contact with your skin touching theirs. We can call it cuddles or snuggles or just a little hug, but that would not do justice to the amazing benefits that just such a simple act can have not just in the moment but long into your baby’s future.
The moment after giving birth, if all is well and your baby has been checked out, he or she will be handed over to your loving embrace the benefits of skin-to-skin contact will begin. Some of these magical benefits include:
- It calms you and your little bundle
- Will help baby to cry less
- Releases hormones that relieve stress and stabilize baby’s temperature, breathing rate, heart rate, and blood sugar.
- Releases a hormone that lowers mom’s stress and promotes healing.
- Helps your colostrum (the first milk that is full of nutrients that protect baby) to flow more easily.
- Boosts baby’s immune system and protects against illness and disease.
- Builds a strong brain through the smells, textures, and sounds the baby experiences while he’s on mom or dad’s chest.
- Helps baby gain weight faster.
- Helps mom breastfeed longer by building her milk supply and making her bond with baby stronger.
- Lowers mom’s risk of postpartum mood disorder.
- Creates connections between mom, dad, and baby that last a lifetime.
- Gives mama a chance to rest or take a break.
And those are just the benefits in those first few hours after birth!
You can continue enjoying the beautiful bond and advantages of skin-to-skin with your little one for many years as there is no such thing as giving your baby too many cuddles, mama!