Cleveland, OH

Benefits of skin-to-skin contact with newborn baby

Angela Kervorkian-Wattle

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CLEVELAND, OH — Studies have shown great benefits for babies to be held immediately against their mother’s skin after birth.

According to research, when babies are held skin-to-skin by their mothers, they tend to have more stable heart and breathing rates than those who are not. The heart sounds and breathing patterns from the mother also bring comfort to the babies immediately after birth.

During pregnancy, the mother’s body maintained the baby’s temperature. When babies are born, they do not have the same temperature-controlling ability. One study found that skin-to-skin with either mom’s or dad’s bodies are better for the babies to keep them warm than an electric warmer.

During the role of the birth process, babies get exposed to their mother’s good bacteria through skin-to-skin contact. Early exposure on the babies to the mother’s skin helps babies develop a range of healthy bacteria.

Skin-to-skin contact supports early breastfeeding, providing protection from harmful bacteria. Experts also believe that these good bacteria may protect against allergic diseases later.

Having the baby in close skin-to-skin contact helps the mother to learn better about the baby’s signal. Mothers would be able to recognize the signs of hunger, signs of fullness, signs of alarms and signs of discomfort.

For decades, mothers were encouraged to put their babies in warmers, but a new recent study showed that skin-to-skin contact allows mothers and babies to build this new relationship.

The benefits of skin-to-skin can be seen for years, including a better mother-child attachment behavior, reduced anxiety in the mother, and better child thinking and reasoning development.

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