8 benefits of skin to skin contact

skin to skin, skin to contact, skin to skin contact at birth, benefits of skin to skin contact, the elbow rooms, the elbow rooms smithfield, pregnancy yoga Dublin, breastfeeding workshops ,

Lisa Wilkinson opened The elbowroom in Feburary 2003. A mother to Tuilelaith and Sean, director of The elbowroom and with a crew of over 35 staff, she is a busy bee. She teaches in their yoga training programs, yoga, pregnancy yoga, and mum and baby yoga.

Lisa is a specialist in paediatric and pregnancy with workshops, Craniosacral Therapy, breast feeding support. She is a doula and is working towards another solution to maternity hospitals in Dublin.

Lisa explains to m&i readers why skin to skin contact at birth is beneficial for baby

There’s now a multitude of studies that show that mothers and babies should be together, skin to skin contact (baby naked, not wrapped in a blanket) immediately after birth. The baby is:

  • Happier
  • Baby’s temperature is more stable
  • Baby’s heart and breathing rates are more regular
  • Baby’s blood sugar is more elevated.

Not only that, skin to skin contact immediately after birth allows the baby to be colonised by the same bacteria as the mother. This, plus breastfeeding, are thought to be important in the prevention of allergic diseases. When a baby is put into an incubator, its skin and gut are often colonised by bacteria different from his mother’s.

We now know that this is true not only for the baby born at term and in good health, but also for the premature baby. Skin to skin contact and Kangaroo Mother Care can contribute much to the care of the premature baby. Even babies on oxygen can be cared for skin to skin, and this helps reduce their need for extra oxygen.

What are the benefits of skin-to-skin?

From the point of view of breastfeeding, babies who are kept skin to skin with the mother immediately after birth for at least an hour, are more likely to latch on without any help and they are more likely to latch on well. This is especially true if the mother did not receive medication during the labour or birth. If the birth is medicated in anyway, it is even more important to keep skin to skin where possible whilst allowing for the babies system to clear and their reflexes to become more “switched on”.

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Skin to skin contact immediately after birth, which lasts for at least an hour (and should continue for as many hours as possible throughout the day and night for the first number of weeks) has the following positive effects.

The baby:
  • Is more likely to latch on
  • Is more likely to latch on well
  • Maintains his/her normal body temperature better even than in an incubator
  • Maintains his/her heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure normal
  • Has higher blood sugar
  • Is less likely to cry
  • Is more likely to breastfeed exclusively and breastfeed longer
  • Will indicate to his mother when he is ready to feed

There is no reason that the vast majority of babies cannot be skin to skin with the mother immediately after birth for at least an hour. Remember hospital routines, such as weighing the baby, should not take precedence!

The elbowroom is a great urban retreat to heal, restore and achieve optimum health. The team of therapists and instructors firmly believe everybody deserves effective and affordable healthcare for both mind and body. For more information go to www.the-elbowroom.com.

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maternity & infant

Originally posted 2015-08-11 09:10:43.