7 Benefits of Skin-to-Skin
There’s nothing softer than a newborn baby and, while it’s well known that newborn cuddles bring lots of joy to both baby and grown-up, it turns out that skin-to-skin snuggles have serious benefits for everyone involved. If you’re the parent of a newborn, or soon will be, check out the reasons below that you should consider offering your baby skin-to-skin snuggles early and often!
It supports vital health functions post-birth
When a baby is pulled onto their parent's chest after birth, they release a rush of happy hormones that help to regulate their temperature, their blood sugar, and their breathing. Not only does this tend to lead to a higher APGAR score, but it also helps ensure that the transition from womb to world is as calm and gentle as possible.
It eases the challenges of breastfeeding
Most women know that placing their baby skin-to-skin on their chest helps with the initiation of breastfeeding but many don’t realize that, as their baby grows, continued skin-to-skin helps ease many of the challenges that nursing can bring. When a baby is skin-to-skin they tend to cue hunger more clearly and are better able to practice a successful latch.
It reduces fussiness
Studies show that skin-to-skin helps reduce crying in babies. The contact with a caregiver can help prevent crying and fussiness as a baby feels comfortable, safe, and warm and it can help calm a crying baby for the same reasons!
It calms mom
In addition to helping baby feel warm, safe and calm, studies show that skin-to-skin contact between mom and baby helps calm mom as well. Snuggling up releases feel-good hormones that help mom feel relaxed and happy even when they were feeling stressed before they started cuddling.
It helps build a bond
There’s nothing sweeter than the bond between a parent and child. That bond, though, often doesn’t come as quickly or ‘naturally’ as we’d all hope. Snuggling up with a newborn can help a parent and child bond by helping them feel relaxed and calm together.
It boosts parental confidence
When a parent holds their newborn baby skin-to-skin, they often begin to learn their cues and communicate with them earlier than those who don’t practice skin-to-skin. When a parent knows their baby’s cues and can effectively read their communication, their confidence in their parenting skills grows!
It builds the brain
When a baby is skin-to-skin they’re getting a lot of information via all of their senses. They see their parent’s face, they feel their skin, they smell their scent, they hear their heartbeat and, often, they taste her milk. All of this sensory input helps baby’s brain begin to grow and develop at a rapid rate!
So, if your baby is already here, or will be arriving soon, consider integrating skin-to-skin into your parenting plan!