Skin-to-Skin Contact Benefits

If you’ve ever been present for birth in a birth center, you might have noticed how the midwife immediately put the baby belly-down on the mother’s chest. This is called initiating skin-to-skin contact and is best done as soon as possible after birth.

What is Skin-to-Skin Contact?

Skin-to-skin contact is when the baby, after being born, is placed directly onto the mother’s bare chest. The mother and baby may then be covered with a blanket and left that way for a while.

It is often recommended for babies since it helps them adjust to life outside the womb and also encourages mother-baby bonding.

Benefits Of Skin-to-Skin Contact

Skin-to-skin contact is recommended by a number of international wellness organizations such as Unicef thanks to its many benefits!

Some of these benefits include:

  • It helps calm the baby’s anxiety after coming into a new environment and helps them transition smoothly
  • It helps babies maintain their body temperature by preventing heat loss
  • It improves the baby’s heart and lung function
  • It prevents low sugar levels immediately after birth
  • It encourages the initiation of breastfeeding
  • The duration of the baby’s pain is shortened due to skin-to-skin contact
  • It has been shown to increase the baby’s oxygen levels
  • It improves weight gain in the neonatal period (since babies spend less energy trying to regulate body temperature)
  • It helps improve baby’s immunity
  • It is known to keep the baby more hydrated
  • In the long term, skin-to-skin contact has been shown to have a positive impact on the baby’s brain development

The skin-to-skin contact also has benefits for the mother. These include:

  • Helps calm the mother down and regulates their heart rate after labor
  • Induces feelings of love and connection with the baby
  • Regulates hormone levels for better milk production
  • Increases the chances of better outcomes for breastfeeding

Birth Center Stone Oak’s approach to Skin-to-Skin Contact

Birth Center Stone Oak understands the importance of skin-to-skin and encourages it as soon as possible after birth. We encourage skin-to-skin contact not just after the period of labor but also later before or after feeding times so both mother and baby can get the maximum benefits out of it.