The importance of skin to skin with your newborn*

skin to skinNewborn cuddles are just the best aren’t they? Following each of my births I have been handed my baby immediately as I was so keen to spend time giving my baby skin to skin having read about its amazing benefits. In Elsie’s case I actually scooped her up out the water myself as her head hit the bottom of the birth pool – she came out with quite some force!

There are so many benefits of providing your baby with skin to skin in the minutes following birth; I could probably write a lengthy list. However, if you’re unable to provided skin to skin immediately you shouldn’t feel worried or guilty. Recent evidence suggests that skin to skin contact with your baby is something that should be continued in to the first few weeks of their life (that includes you too Dad) so there’s plenty of time to give those all important cuddles.

If you do choose to give your baby skin to skin following labour and birth it will not only provide a great opportunity to bond with your baby and stare at their beautiful eyes but it will also encourage them to feed and help regulate their body temperature, heart rate and breathing. Their skin will soon turn that lovely shade of pink when they’re snuggled into your chest. Imagine what it’s like living inside your uterus for nine months; dark, warm, soft and cosy. That’s how they feel safe and secure.

skin to skin contact

I am so proud and lucky I have had such amazing births which have allowed me to spend hours cuddling my children following their births. It’s really quite hard to put them down or hand them back to the midwife to be weighed. Their tiny eyes flick open and look at you as they’re just inches from your face. It’s the most amazing feeling. The bond you feel during skin to skin time will last a lifetime. I remember it so well.

skin to skin

Waterwipes recently promoted the use of prolonged skin to skin with their Pure Love campaign in which they aimed to show new mums how amazing their bodies actually are. This Pure Love film shows exactly what happens when you place a baby in the skin to skin position by looking at the science behind it. It’s hard not to be moved by the film. If you’ve already had children it’s bound to bring back wonderful memories and if you haven’t but are planning to please bare this film in mind – prolonged skin to skin is beneficial for all new families.

 

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