An Introduction to the #SkintoSkin Movement
Skin to skin is in! And with good reason. The benefits of skin-to-skin contact, both for baby and mom, are truly outstanding. Benefits for baby include accelerated brain development, synchronized heartbeat and breathing, improved quality of sleep, reduced crying + stress, regulated body temperature, enhanced immune system, stimulation of digestive system, and increased rates of breastfeeding. For mom, the benefits include reduced risk of postpartum depression, lower blood pressure, lower cortisol/stress levels, reduced postpartum bleeding, increased pain tolerance, increased milk production + promotion of a “relaxation and well-being” response.
In fact, the benefits are so significant that The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends daily skin-to-skin contact for baby from birth through the first three months of their life! And increasingly, many hospitals are implementing as part of their standard protocol that mom + baby have immediate skin-to-skin contact following birth, as long as baby + mom are stable. Keep in mind that full chest-to-chest contact between mom (or partner, grandparent or sibling!) and baby is crucial when practicing skin-to-skin, as this is the location of the c-afferent nerve. When stimulated, it results in all of the physiological benefits that skin-to-skin offers. Mother Nature never ceases to amaze us. So enjoy holding your baby skin to skin – not only does it feel like the best thing in the world – it creates wonderful benefits for both of you!