Why is skin to skin so important?
“Skin to skin” means having the baby in just a diaper in direct contact with mom’s (or partner’s) skin. A light blanket can be placed over both of you to help contain warmth and provide modesty.
When baby is skin to skin:
- Mom’s body is baby’s natural environment.
- Baby’s body temperature, heart rate, and breathing regulate.
- Baby’s blood sugar is higher and more stable
- Baby can smell your colostrum which encourages feeding cues
- Your skin and the baby will both be covered in amniotic fluid, which smells like colostrum and further encourages feeding cues.
- Early brain development and neurological connections are supported.
- Baby’s feed more frequently, decreasing the likelihood of jaundice and improving mom’s milk supply.
- Improves early initiation of breastfeeding and duration of breastfeeding.
- Increases likelihood that baby will latch well, improving milk transfer and mom’s comfort.