The benefits of skin to skin with your little one are absolutely incredible and I want to take a minute to dive into a few of them. There are many benefits to not only baby, but mom as well! Dad (or partner) can also benefit and participate! These benefits extend well beyond just the golden hour so soak up that skin to skin time! This helps ease their transition into this big world.
These benefits are even greater for NICU babies. They are still meant to be in the womb after all, so replicating that and keeping them close as much as possible is so important. I have truly seen some incredible things when it comes to skin to skin (or kangaroo care) and premature babies!
Benefits to baby:
regulates respiratory rate and heart rate
regulates body temperature
decreases crying and soothes
promotes breastfeeding + increases milk supply
decreases risk of low blood sugar
promotes higher levels of oxygen in the blood
lowered risk of hospital readmission
Benefits to mom (as well as partner):
helps regulate mom’s mood
increases milk supply
helps promote the breastfeeding relationship
These benefits and so incredible and, as I said before, do not end after that golden hour (first hour after birth), so keep your little one close as much as possible! Skin to skin is also amazing after bath time to help regulate baby’s temperature. This is also a great way to help calm them when they are worked up and you can’t figure out what’s going on!
How to practice skin to skin:
Have baby in just a diaper and place them directly on your bare chest (chest to chest). Cover baby with a blanket to make sure they stay warm. You can also practice skin to skin with baby in a wrap! This is a great way to soothe them and still be able to get things done when needed.
Skin to skin was my absolute favorite with my son, and that’s pretty much all I did the entire time we were in the hospital!