Did you know that skin-to-skin is beneficial for parents and siblings as well as for your baby?
For the birthing mother skin to skin enhances the release of her oxytocin which in addition to aiding bonding and breastfeeding, helps to contract the uterus after birth, delivering the placenta and reducing maternal blood loss after birth. Because of theses benefits we recommend that birthing mother have at least one hour if uninterrupted skin to skin as soon as possible after birth, ideally with the first feed taking place skin to skin.
If circumstances don’t allow the birthing parent to have skin to skin or once it has taken place we support other care givers and family members ( i.e. The other parent/partner, older siblings) to have skin to skin. Study’s have found higher levels of oxytocin in fathers who had skin to skin with their baby’s shortly after birth compared to those who didn’t.
For your baby skin-to-skin is wonderful way to transition from the uterus in to the world. It had been shown to help your baby regulate their temperature, heart rate and breathing and start to develop their immune system through the colonisation of their skin with friendly bacteria.
Being close to you helps your baby to feel safe, secure and loved. When they feel like this your baby will release the hormone Oxytocin which has a wonderful effect on brain development helping your baby to be happy and grow in to a confident child and later adult.
Ask your midwife about how you can incorporate skin-to-skin in to your birth preferences.