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Skin-to-Skin: some interesting facts

When I was handed my first baby, 29 years ago, after a normal delivery, he was completely wrapped up!

Luckily, these days, things have moved on and research is driving many modern practises. Babies are now routinely handed to the mother after straight forward deliveries for skin-to-skin time. When that is not possible, the birthing partner is often involved.

Skin-to-skin has been shown to

  • calm baby and mother ,

  • improve latch and improve milk supply.

  • help to regulate baby’s temperature and heart rate.

  • help the baby colonise good bacteria from the mother’s skin which contributes to the development of its gut microbiome.

  • act as a pain reliever for the baby ( e.g after a traumatic birth, or a painful procedure).

The practise of skin-to-skin ideally can continue at home. Taking time out to be with your baby, quietly, undistracted is rewarding for both of you.

Take care to be in a safe place, in case you drift into sleep!

Sofas and chairs are more dangerous as babies can get stuck . A bed is the best place and propped up a bit is easier. Making sure that the baby’s airways are clear and the baby’s back is covered to keep them warm. This also acts as early tummy time which is great for your baby’s development!



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