Skin-To-Skin Contact After Birth Helps More Than Just Newborn Babies

Dawn Papple

We already know that skin-to-skin contact after birth significantly benefits newborn babies, thanks to a significant body of scientific evidence. The International Breastfeeding Centre says that contact after birth and during infancy helps newborn babies learn to latch well for breastfeeding, maintain normal body temperature even better than while in an incubator, maintain heart rate, maintain respiratory rate, and exhibit normal blood pressure and better blood sugar levels. Babies who experience skin-to-skin contact through a practice known as Kangaroo Care are less likely to cry, less likely to develop infection, and more likely to breastfeed exclusively.

"Infancy sets up your interactions with your baby for the rest of her life," Dr. Susan M. Ludington, executive director of the United States Institute for Kangaroo Care, stated explaining that skin-to-skin contact is the easiest way to form a secure attachment with a newborn baby. But as it turns out, it's not just the newborn baby that benefits from skin-to-skin contact after birth.

— Cortney Gibson (@GibsonNewborn) September 17, 2015

"We already know there are physiological benefits in the newborns when they are held skin-to-skin," says Dr. Isaza. "Now we have more evidence that skin-to-skin contact can also decrease parental stress that can interfere with bonding, health and emotional wellness, and the interpersonal relations of parents, as well as breastfeeding rates."

She called skin-to-skin cuddling during infancy a "simple technique to benefit both parent and child that perhaps should be encouraged in all NICUs."

— Jessica (@jessicadawn0403) October 9, 2015

— Cindy Spence (@cindy31565) August 28, 2015

— E2A Project (@E2AProject) September 11, 2015

Have you ever experienced kangaroo care or have you ever been encouraged to implement skin-to-skin contact into your neonatal care routine?

[Image via Pixabay]