This first hour after birth is the called the golden hour because conditions are perfect. Immediately following birth, mom has oxytocin flowing through her and so does  baby which makes it so the baby is the most alert and awake for the first 1-2 hours after birth. The oxytocin promotes bonding, breastfeeding and even helps prevent postpartum hemorrhage.

During the first hour after birth it’s significantly important for the mother-baby bonding process to unfold. Which is super easy, it's keeping mom and baby together, chest to chest. If mom is healthy and nothing is significantly wrong with baby all vitals (temperature, heart rate, respirations, etc.) can  be done while baby is on mom and routine newborn procedures can be pushed back to a less time sensitive moment. Just as it’s physically critical for babies to transition to using their lungs, it's psychologically critical for babies and moms to transition to their new life outside of the womb together.

Skin-to-skin is important on every level: physical, emotional, psychological, mental, spiritual, etc.

If your care provider can keep that golden hour sacred, allowing mom to cuddle the baby on her chest rather than removing the baby for tests, they can often establish a very good beginning to breastfeeding while the baby is alert and receptive.

If the baby is removed from mom after birth and then handed back to her swaddled simply un-swaddle the baby and put them on mom's chest.

There may be a lot of family members there eagerly waiting for the baby's arrival. But knowing how fundamental it is for mom and baby to bond communicate with any family that they will have to wait to hold the baby until a few hours after the birth. Manage their expectations before labor so you can protect those first hours after your baby is born.

Awesome Benefits of Skin -to -Skin for BABY:

  • Relaxes baby.
  • Easier transition from the womb.
  • Regulates baby’s body temperature (In fact, when it comes to keeping a newborn warm, a mother’s body is better than an artificial warmer.)
  • Regulates baby’s breathing.
  • Stabilizes baby’s heart rate.
  • Regulates baby’s metabolic rate.
  • Improvement in baby’s heart and lung function.
  • Regulation of baby’s blood sugar. (especially important for women who have gestational diabetes)
  • Helps baby to be a better breastfeeder.
  • The transfer of good bacteria from mother to baby. (Particularly important for c-section babies)
  • Baby cries less
  • Relaxes baby.
  • Lower pain response for Baby. (like for the heel prick or any painful procedures)
  • Baby experiences less stress.
  • Helps with brain development.

If baby is having issues with any of the above (like temperature, breathing, heart rate, blood sugar levels, etc.) request to keep baby on mom for it to help regulate the issue.

Awesome benefits of skin-to-skin for MOM:

  • Releases a hormone that lowers mom's stress and promotes healing.
  • Helps the colostrum (the first milk that is full of nutrients that protect baby) to flow more easily.
  • Relaxes mom.
  • Helps mom breastfeed longer by building her milk supply and making her bond with baby stronger.
  • Lowers mom's risk of postpartum mood disorder.
  • The power of touch is so good for mom.
  • Creates connections between mom, dad, and baby that last a lifetime.
  • After an intense life event, it helps to ground mom.
  • Can also lower postpartum effects in mothers.

Awesome Benefits of skin-to-skin for DAD:

  • Bonding with baby.
  • Feelings of protectiveness towards baby.
  • Feeling more confident as a father.
  • Help to stabilize and regulate baby’s temp, heart rate, blood sugar, etc. so if mom can't be skin-to-skin with baby dad absolutely can.
  • Helps fathers have a more active and positive outlook on their transition into fatherhood.

If possible keep baby with mom for the first hour, but next best thing is with dad. If all went well the first hour and mom kept baby with her and was able to establish breastfeeding absolutely dad should still get an opportunity for skin-to-skin. 

Awesome Benefits of Skin-to-Skin AFTER the first day.

Babies can benefit from skin-to-skin care in the days, weeks, and even months following birth. In fact, it is often recommended that kangaroo care be practiced up to 3 months old for full-term babies and 6 months old for preemies. 

  • We recommend that you practice skin-to-skin with your baby especially
  • any time your baby may become ill.
  • If they are struggling to sleep at night adding a layer of comfort.
  • If they are struggling breastfeeding at all. At the beginning or if there is a regression a few months in, use skin-to-skin to reignite the interest in breastfeeding. 
  • If you are bottle feeding and want to deepen your connection to baby. 
  • A beautiful way to continue the bond with baby. 

skin to skin

Awesome Benefits for Skin-to-Skin with SIBLINGS:

  • A beautiful bond can be facilitated between siblings and skin-to-skin can help. 
  • Especially any child you may be concerned about their transition to life with a new baby.
  • Helps them feel included.
  • Develops feelings of protectiveness. 
  • A special and memorable experience.

skin to skin with siblings

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