The Magical Touch of Skin-to-Skin Contact.
The moment a mother holds her newborn baby in her arms, a huge surge of emotions washes over her. There's an overwhelming sense of love, protectiveness, and awe at this tiny miracle snuggled against her chest. This intimate connection, often facilitated through skin-to-skin contact, is the foundation for a strong and secure parent-child bond.This leads to many health benefits for the newborn baby and also helps the new mother.
As a mother, skin-to-skin contact is more than just physical contact; it's a deep emotional exchange between her and her new baby. It's the heartbeat of the mother, the warmth of her skin, and the gentle rhythm of their breathing, all intertwined in a symphony of love and boosting of oxytocin.
As we snuggle with our baby, our bodies release oxytocin, the "love hormone," fostering a deep sense of connection. This surge of oxytocin not only strengthens the bond between mother and child but also has numerous health benefits, including reducing stress, helping aid the birth of the placenta, alleviating pain, breastfeeding and promoting better sleep.
From the moment our baby is placed on our bare chest, our senses are alight with stimuli. The soft touch of their velvety skin, the delicate weight in our arms, and the sweet scent of their fresh skin ( this is why hats are a no thank you)– it's a sensory overload that evokes a flood of maternal feelings and instincts.
Skin-to skin is soothing for both mother and baby. The warmth of our skin mimics the womb's environment, calming their nervous system and regulating their breathing, temperature, heart rate and starts the interest in baby feeding.
Sink-to-skin contact also plays a crucial role in passing on beneficial bacteria from the mother to the baby, boosting their immune system and protecting them from infections. This transfer of microbes, known as "horizontal transmission," is a crucial aspect of early childhood development.
A Bond That Lasts a Lifetime
The benefits of skin-to-skin contact extend far beyond the initial days and weeks of infancy. Studies have shown that early skin-to-skin contact can lead to better cognitive development, improved language skills, and stronger emotional regulation in children.Using skin-to-skin in the early days and beyond can support breast milk production, encourage the baby to latch at the breast and help aid the whole breastfeeding journey.
Skin-to-skin contact is a precious gift that mothers/parents can give to their newborns, offering a foundation for a strong and lasting bond. It's a moment of pure connection, where love and warmth intertwine, creating a symphony of maternal care that nourishes both mother and child. Starting at birth itself within the magic hour and continuing as often as you like during your postnatal period.
Why not add skin-to-skin contact into your birth plan, whether you're planning to birth in hospital or at home your midwife and birth team will support this magic time for you. If you have a cersaion section try leaving an arm out to support skin to skin as soon as possible.
Anyone can do skin-to-skin contact, birth partners and siblings can also enjoy this magical bonding experince.
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