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Skin to skin with baby: everything you need to know

baby in mom's arms, skin to skin in a sling

First contact with baby, skin to skin would have many benefits. Discover why and how! 

 

Definition of skin to skin 

Skin to skin is the direct contact of the baby and his mom or dad, chest to chest. From this proximity, an exchange of heat, odors and hormones takes place, which will trigger innate behaviors in the baby and his parents. 

 

Skin to skin from birth 

Indeed, it is a practice recommended from birth by the WHO. In the birth room, the newborn is placed naked, with his back covered against his mother's chest. 

 

Skin to skin can also be practiced when you go home and the baby grows. You will see that the benefits will be of great help to you. 

 

Skin-to-skin baby position 

A few things to look for to make sure skin-to-skin contact goes as smoothly as possible: 

  • baby placed above the chest, head clear, to free his airways 
  • baby against you belly to belly 
  • baby's neck is not bent forward or backward 
  • head is turned to the side 
  • baby's legs are bent 

If you are tired, it is better not to practice skin-to-skin in case you fall asleep. 

 

The benefits of skin-to-skin 

We talked about it, this practice has many benefits from birth but also afterwards! 

 

For baby

Regulation of the body temperature 

Skin to skin heat exchange is much easier than if you are dressed. An infant has a lot of trouble regulating its temperature alone, so it is even more important to avoid hypothermia. 

 

Facilitates and promotes breastfeeding 

Laying on the stomach skin to skin against the mother instinctively directs the child to the breast and makes the right movements to take it easily. 

The oxytocin produced thanks to this proximity favors the production of milk in the mother as well as her ejection reflex. (milk drops in sight during skin to skin!) 

 

Reassurance 

Being close to you reminds him of the warmth of the cocoon he experienced during pregnancy. Your warmth, breath and scent remind him of this pleasant state, which soothes him and can help reduce his crying.

 

Stabilizing heart rate and blood sugar levels 

The close contact between your two bodies will not only stabilize your baby's breathing rate, but also increase blood sugar levels.

 

For parents 

The benefits are not only for baby but also for you! 

 

The bond of attachment, the parent-child bond

We often hear about it, the skin to skin will facilitate this link between the parent and his child. The exchanges and the contact of the skin to skin instinctively creates this bond of attachment (production of oxytocin, hormone of love and happiness) 

 

Stress reduction 

Pregnancy is a source of stress but becoming a parent is just as stressful! Being so close to your child will reassure you and give you confidence in your abilities. 

 

Better understanding of baby's needs 

Having your baby close to you means observing him closely, feeling all the changes in his behavior and movements... It also means understanding more quickly the signs that baby is sending you. 

 

Can daddy do skin to skin? 

Of course it's great that daddy does it too! We often talk about moms who do it quite spontaneously, especially on the day of the birth. The production of oxytocin is also done in the father and the skin to skin will thus establish the first bonds and forms of communication between father and baby. 

 

Babywearing to prolong skin-to-skin contact with a growing baby

You need to go out, you need to get dressed (YES), but you want to have your child close to you? Babywearing is the best way to enjoy all the benefits of skin-to-skin while giving you more freedom. 

 

Baby carriers for more practicality or slings to be closer to baby. 

 

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We are available to assist you with any questions you may have about babywearing. 

 

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