Are you about to give birth a few months or weeks from now? Then this article is for you. Below you will find some of the so many perks of having skin-to-skin contact with your little one as soon as he or she is born.
Increased Immune System
Bacteria on your skin colonize the skin of your baby, and this is great news. That’s because it helps make your little one’s immune system stronger by causing your breast milk to produce antibodies against the said microbes. In addition, skin to-skin contact also helps boost the functioning of the baby’s GI tract, thus promoting the better absorption of nutrients found abundantly in your breast milk.
More Favorable Breastfeeding
Speaking of breast milk, did you know that the whole experience of breast feeding can be made more favorable by holding your baby close to you? Experts say that skin-to-skin contact encourages the baby to breastfeed as soon as possible. In addition, it prompts your body to produce more breast milk. Practicing skin-to-skin contact is also said to help keep your baby breastfeeding exclusively, which is very good for him or her.
Post-partum depression is something that bugs a lot of new moms. Although it can be caused by a variety of factors, some studies suggest that one’s risk of it can be considerably reduced by bonding with the infant as soon as possible. What’s so nice about this approach in warding off post-partum depression is it helps eliminate the need to swallow pills that can cause side effects while getting rid of the mental issue.
Minimized Stress and Pain
Even something as short as a 10-minute skin-to-skin contact is said to help increase the baby’s levels of oxytocin, a hormone that helps encourage the feeling of calmness and safety. Because of this, the stress levels of your newborn can be reduced. Additionally, bonding with your baby is known to help reduce pain, which can be beneficial especially when certain tests have to be done, such as the so-called heel stick that involves drawing the baby’s blood.
Stabilized Vital Signs
Keeping your baby close to your skin can help in stabilizing his or her vital signs, according to experts. The baby’s various internal systems are yet to fully develop. By having skin-to-skin contact with your little one, his or her temperature can be normalized. Studies have also shown that babies held close by their respective moms had their heart rates, blood pressures and blood sugar levels all within normal range.
Having skin-to-skin contact with your baby as soon as he or she is out of your belly helps promote better sleep. Not only will it make your infant fall asleep much faster, but also spend time in dreamland much longer. But it’s not just your baby who can enjoy better sleep, but you as well. Because your little bundle of joy is catching lots of Z’s, you can obtain much-needed sleep to help you bounce back from the stresses of giving birth.
Enhanced Mental Development
Because of some of the previously-tackled perks of skin-to-skin contact such as stabilized vitals and improved sleep, his or her mental development can be boosted. Based on a Canadian study, premature babies who were placed in incubators had slower mental development than those who were also born prematurely but spent more time swaddled by their mothers. For a mentally-superior baby, remember to bond a lot!
These are some of the most amazing benefits of having skin-to-skin contact with your baby. Provided that the baby is stable, it’s something that can be done regardless of the type of birth. Even a baby born prematurely can receive skin-to-skin contact! And if the mother is not available, such can be done with the father.