This week is National Breastfeeding Week and the theme is ‘skin to skin’.
This is where a baby is placed directly onto mums bare chest. It is recommended that his takes place directly after birth – where baby is dried and placed without clothing onto mum and both are covered in a warm blanket for at least an hour after birth or until after the first feed. It is ok if this is not possible as skin to skin can also be very beneficial for many months – at hospital, at home or even in a bath can be nice. Skin to skin helps baby to adjust to life outside of the womb by helping to regulate babies heart rate, breathing and temperature. It also helps to colonise the baby’s skin with mums friendly bacteria which will help protect baby against infection.
Skin to skin also helps to initiate feeding and to develop a close and loving relationship between mum and baby. This includes stimulating digestion and an interest in feeding from baby. So even if you are not planning to breastfeed skin to skin can be very beneficial. Skin to skin is also often used for premature babies to help parents to bond and to support developmental outcomes for baby.
However, it can be used at any time when baby needs comfort and to help boost a mums milk supply. Often mums ask what foods they can eat or how often they should pump to increase their supply and I often suggest trying skin to skin first and often this does help – it’s also a cheaper, more accessible and more comfortable option too !!
I would love to hear more about your skin to skin experience…. Come and share with us on our social media.
You can read more about the benefits of skin to skin here:
Unicef skin to skin benefits