04 Mar Skin to Skin
The technique of skin-to-skin is practiced all over the world by many health care practitioners. So what is this skin-to-skin all about? I have been asked that many times over, in the last few months, so I feel it is the perfect way to start our conversation.
The skin to skin technique is the manner in which your baby experiences its first moments after being born. In many countries that practice this method of being born, the moment that a baby is born, the baby is placed skin-to-skin with its mother, and allowed to stay there, exploring, for however long they want to; typically for the first hour or two (in c-section deliveries) or until the first breastfeeding has occurred. This is not a rushed, latch-on to the breast event, but rather calm and most importantly baby led experience. This is actually the best possible start to breastfeeding. Mothers that have had the opportunity to experience this technique have considerably more milk on day three or four, when the “milk comes in”. In addition to getting breastfeeding off to a great start, there are so many other important benefits to doing this. Mother and baby bonding is accelerated and strengthened, in pre-term babies cases, it is sometimes referred to as “Kangaroo Care” and has had a tremendous impact on the positive outcomes of preterm infants. The increase of warmth is greater skin to skin on the mother, it has been known to stabilize the babies heartbeat, and results in decreased crying and stress on the infant. Dads can even do skin-to-skin! If you think about it, this method is quite natural and normal. The baby has spent almost 10 months in their mother’s tummies, developing, why wouldn’t they want to stay next to their mommies? The reality is, that babies need to be with their mother, just as they need to feed. In decades past, this would have been the manner in which all children are born, technology improvements have maybe changed this natural way of allowing a mother and baby to be together during the first moments after birth. That being said, don’t get me wrong, thank goodness for technology advances, it has been responsible for so many positive outcomes.
Here’s the great news, we have many talented health care professionals that currently do this here. They realize the benefits of the skin-to-skin technique and are happy to allow this method after delivery (provided that the baby is healthy). I empower you to experience this method of skin-to-skin, even in normal C-section cases, this can be done. So talk to your health care professionals and ask about Skin-to-skin.
Love & Hugs!
By: Bianca Carter, CLC
Bianca Carter is a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), Founder & CEO of Bun in the Oven. For more information give us a call at 601-6977 and visit us at the Harbour Bay Shopping Plaza, next door to Starbucks. Follow us on facebook at babybunintheoven, twitter at babybito email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.