Midwives have been doing it for a while, and now, nearly all of our local hospitals are doing it too! Just a few short years ago, when I had my three children, they were not. We've seen incredible changes in our community, in a short time. For that I am really proud of us! Here are four benefits to skin to skin contact at birth, and why it's encouraged.
1. It's good for you.
Skin to skin contact between mom and baby has been shown to reduce stress in mothers. So cuddle up and breath in that newborn smell!
2. It regulates baby's breathing and temperature.
Your body temperature will rise and fall to make sure baby stays just right after birth, when baby is still trying to adjust to the outside world. Some data even shows synchronized heart rates with mom or dad.
3. It helps create a strong bond.
Skin to skin after birth, along with oxytocin, plays an important role in feeling connected and bonded with your newborn. It can even help dads to bond!
4. It makes breastfeeding go smoother.
Studies have shown that when babies are put skin to skin with their mothers, they nurse sooner, and longer. This can help mama get her milk supply well-established.
For more information and support on breastfeeding your newborn, I highly recommend reaching out to your local La Leche League chapter.