Why skin-to-skin contact is so important for both baby and parent
The importance of skin-to-skin contact explained
When your baby is born, one of the most important things to share with them is that first moment of mother-to-baby contact.
From the moment your baby is born, they will benefit greatly from gentle skin-loving contact – here’s what you need to know!
So - you’ve gone through pregnancy with your little one safely protected, giving them all the love and nurturing they need to grow. When your baby is born, one of the most important things to share with them is that first moment of mother-to-baby contact.
Unless your baby needs special care, you’ll be able to spend time cuddling your newborn in skin-to-skin contact (no clothes, no blankets, just gentle, naked skin-to-skin contact) immediately after delivery. It’s up to you, but skin-to-skin contact is recognised as a vital part of newborn care because it helps regulate your baby’s temperature and heartbeat, can improve your chances of breastfeeding successfully and it is wonderful for immediate bonding. This is the moment when it all becomes worth it; enjoy every second. You can even have skin-to-skin contact with your baby while you're still in theatre after a C-section.
Skin-to-skin contact has been proven to initiate strong instinctive behaviours – a surge of maternal hormones for the mother, and for the baby an automatic desire to wake up and feed for the first time. It’s also been shown to reduce post-birth stress in both mother and baby, boost the immune system and even raise levels of happiness through a natural release of endorphins and oxytocin!
Importantly, this bonding moment is pure, helping to initiate a lifelong connection between you and your baby, encouraging a multitude of gentle, loving hugs! Your partner should also have regular skin-to-skin contact later on but this can also be an option soon after birth especially if the mother is unable to have skin-to-skin contact straight away.
These elevating moments of pure skin-to-skin contact are important, as are products that are kind to your baby’s delicate skin. When using baby wipes look for those that are made with natural fibres and as much water as possible, to gently clean and protect their delicate skin. Keep an eye out for the words ‘hypoallergenic’ and ‘clinically tested’ on packs of baby wipes to make sure the product is safe for delicate skin.