There are many benefits of skin to skin contact. These benefits have more value during the earliest stages of life. Head on and read some of the top 10 important benefits of skin to skin contact.
Humans are tactile creatures
It is within the nature of humans to crave contact and need a certain skinship with those around them. This is true for everyone no matter their age, ethnicity, religion or anything of differential value because we humans at our bases are all the same.
Our need for skinship arises from the moment we are conceived. Safe in our mother’s womb, surrounded by warm darkness and love, we are safe, but the minute we enter the world screaming and crying, that warmth is stolen and so we need it again. This is one of the reasons why babies love being held and rocked, they cry when put down, especially by their mother.
Babies, infants are known to be their calmest when being held against the breast of their mother. It is a necessity for the child to feel that skinship, a necessary development. The skinship allows the child to know that he/she is loved, cared for and safe. It is an important touchstone for the child to grow up secure in who he/she is and where he/she comes from.
Kangaroo care is a skin-to-skin contact technique done after birth. This is usually done especially when a baby has been born prematurely and is still in need of the safety of the mother’s womb. This technique tells the mother to hold the baby against her naked skin so that the child can feel the warmth of her skin and can feel safe once again. This feeling will allow the child to calm down and focus on growth.
Top 10 benefits of skin to skin contact
1. Body temperature is stabilized.
2. The functioning of the heart and lung stabilizes.
3. Blood sugar is balanced.
4. Good bacteria is transferred from one skin to the other.
5. Babies are known to stop crying once they receive skin contact, especially from their mother.
6. Communication between mother and child is established and increased.
7. The transition from the womb to the real world is made easier for the child.
8. According to many psychological and biological studies, skinship also increases mental development.
9. It makes breastfeeding easier.
10. It helps prevent postpartum depression in the mother.
Skinship is not only important for the development of the child but it is also very important for the mother. It helps decrease new mothers’ postpartum depression by allowing her to bond with her child by holding the baby close to her heart.