‘Skin-to-skin’ is a term used to describe a mother and baby who are in direct contact with eachother without any barrier in between.  There has been alot of discussion and research around the topic of skin-to-skin.  This post should help you to understand when and why skin-to-skin time is used.

A WHO review of the literature showed that

skin-to-skin contact between the mother and her baby immediately after birth reduces crying, improves mother-infant interaction, keeps the baby warm, and helps the mother to breastfeed successfully.”

In an article written by Dr Sarah Buckley, she says that

Another study showed that, after skin to skin care, newborns had more organized behavior, more quiet sleep and more resistance to pain, again reflecting lower levels of stress and stress hormones.”  and
Skin to skin contact also helps the newborn to enact their instinctive behaviors, including breastfeeding behaviour.”

According to an article by Dr Jack Newman here, “skin to skin contact immediately after birth, which lasts for at least an hour has the following positive effects on the baby:

  • Are more likely to latch on
  • Are more likely to latch on well
  • Have more stable and normal skin temperatures
  • Have more stable and normal heart rates and blood pressures
  • Have higher blood sugars
  • Are less likely to cry
  • Are more likely to breastfeed exclusively longer “

So when is it useful to have your baby skin-to-skin with you? 

  • Immediately after your baby is born
  • For the first few days of life
  • When a baby is still learning to attach well
  • Any time when breastfeeding needs improving
  • When a mum is trying to improve her milk supply
  • When a baby is seeking comfort
  • Any time you like

If you would like more information on ways to get breastfeeding off to a great start or if things are not going as expected, please contact me to discuss your situation and see if a consultation would be helpful for you.

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