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Why Skin-To-Skin Contact After Delivery Is Essential Between Baby And Mother

Skin-to-skin contact is usually referred to as the practice where a baby is dried and laid directly on the mother's bare chest after birth, both of them covered in warm blanket and left for at least an hour. It has been scientifically proven to be one of the best things you can do for a newborn. This act is carried out in many informed hospitals, but many people may not know why this is often advised.

According to an article published by the United Nations Independent Children Emergency Fund, skin-to-skin contact helps babies adjust to life outside the womb, and support mothers to initiate breastfeeding and develop close loving relationship with the baby.

Skin-to-skin regulates the baby's heart rate and breathing, helping them to better adapt to life outside the womb, stimulates digestion and an interest in feeding; by stimulating the release of hormones to support breastfeeding and mothering. Skin-to-skin calms and relaxes both mother and baby.

Researchers say a baby in skin-to-skin contact with the mother stimulates a specific part of the newborn's brain, and the body is stimulated to move to mom's breast and attach and begin feeding. Next the baby will open his or her eyes and first gaze upon mother. This encourages emotional and social development.

Skin to skin contact also helps baby's body self-regulate which stabilizes the heartbeat and breathing patterns. Heart and breathing episodes are thereby reduced using skin to skin. And also, pain reduces greatly and babies cry less often.

Skin to skin also increases baby skin hydration, providing a protective barrier that prevents harmful bacteria from entering through baby's skin.

When mother and baby are together, hormones that regulate lactation balance out helping mum to produce more milk and breastfeed more successfully. Newborns heightened sense of smell helps them seek and find the nipple and begin breastfeeding.

During skin to skin, most infants fall asleep easily and achieve deep sleep also known as 'quiet sleep' which lasts for hours. This quiet sleep is beneficial for accelerating brain pattern and maturation.

When you are holding your baby skin-to-skin, your oxytocin levels increase, which reduces your blood pressure and lowers stress levels. Increased oxytocin also helps restore pre-pregnancy hormone levels, reducing the risk of postpartum depression.

Source: UNICEF

Content created and supplied by: Georgiapens (via Opera News )

United Nations Independent Children Emergency Fund


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