While every mother has an unbreakable bond with her child, some parent-child relationships are stronger than others. Skin-to-skin contact is best to promote bonding especially with newborns. Skin to skin bonding, also called kangaroo care, is much more than meets the eye.
It Helps Baby Adapt
A baby is inside a mother’s womb for 9 months. It is traumatic to separate the newborn. The first 30 minutes after a baby’s birth are the best time for skin to skin contact as it is emotionally reassuring to the baby. Immediate contact also preps up mother’s body for breastmilk letdown.
After all, when your baby was in the womb, she didn’t need to regulate her own temperature. Since your skin is the same temperature as the womb, Baby will find it easier to adapt to her post-birth environment.
It Makes Breastfeeding Easier
Newborns instinctively have a heightened sense of smell, so placing your baby skin-to-skin helps her seek out the nipple and begin breastfeeding. Moms who practiced kangaroo care were more likely to breastfeed exclusively and, on average, these moms breastfed three months longer than those who didn’t practice skin-to-skin care.
Comfort and Secure
Proximity to mom decreases the stress hormone in a newborn and increases cuddle hormone, Oxytocin making them feel secure.
Reduced stress helped baby sleep better. Babies have deep sleep and wake less often.
By stabilizing heart rate, improved oxygenation, and improving sleep, the brain is better able to develop.
Skin-to-skin contact dramatically increases newborn weight gain. Mom’s warmth help stabilize baby’s temperature. When babies are warm, they don’t need to use their energy to regulate their body temperature. They use that energy to grow instead. Plus, kangarooed babies enjoy increased breastfeeding rates, which can’t hurt healthy weight gain.
Dads can’t be far behind: Babies recognize their dad’s voice when they are born. Dad’s skin to skin with babies has a similar effect as with moms.
Decreases postpartum depression: Skin to skin with their baby stabilizes hormones in mom leading to decrease in postpartum depression./p>