Skin-to-skin contact between a mother and her newborn enables the mother and baby to bond. This method helps the mother communicate with her baby by sniffing, fondling, and babbling with the baby. The child tries to open his eyes to react to his mother’s voice. The baby becomes aware of the breast when the baby is held so close to the mother’s chest.
The baby may also begin to make skin-to-skin and crawl to the breast and locate the breast more easily and start feeding. In this article, the benefits of skin-to-skin contact between mothers and newborns are discussed in detail.
Improves cognitive development for the baby
Skin-to-skin contact between baby and mother has resulted in the development of cognitive growth for the baby. The baby’s cognitive development is strongly determined by three factors: Environmental, Nutrition and Mother-child relationships. Out of the three, Mother and child relationship is of utmost importance and serves as a backbone for the development of the newborn. It has been seen children with great contact with their mothers help in the development of other prospects of their relationship.
Improves the body temperature of the baby
The Skin to skin contact between mothers and newborns acts as a natural incubator for the baby. It regulates the temperature of the baby and helps the better growth of the child. In case the baby’s temperature is low, the mother’s skin temperature allows the child to get the required temperature from her, resulting in the management of the child’s body temperature.
Improves chances of breastfeeding
When the skin to skin contact between a child and a mother is encountered, it is believed to improve the chance of breastfeeding. The hormone prolactin in the mother’s body regulates milk production and, on the other hand, acts as a natural soother and gives a child a calmer environment.
Gives a sense of protection
Skin to Skin contact acts as a natural shield for the baby. It gives a sense of protection to the baby and develops a better relationship with the mother. Once the baby is delivered, getting a warm atmosphere gives a sense of relief and security to the child. Further, it not only secures the baby but connects with the mother. The baby can sense the temperature, heartbeat, and smell of the mother, creating a safer picture for the child. This allows the child to recognize the mother after a while.
Makes the little ones cry less
Research has proved that babies snug with their mothers tend to cry less than babies kept in a cot. According to a study conducted on 30 infants, babies held skin-to-skin only cried 14% of the time, while babies in a cot cried 93% of the time. This gives babies a safer picture and relieves them from the sense of separation, thus making them cry a little less.
Helps the mother with postpartum anxiety
Skin-to-skin contact benefits not only the child but also the mother. It gives a sense of relief to the mother and helps in the release of postpartum stress and anxiety. It acts as a natural soother and gives mothers validation for their babies, and is helpful for the development of the mother.
Lastly, the benefits of skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby are overwhelmingly positive. This contact helps to create an immediate bond between mother and baby, boosts the baby’s immune system, and helps to regulate the baby’s vital signs. Not only does it help the newborn, but it also has many benefits for the mother as well, such as reducing stress and increasing oxytocin levels which helps to reduce postpartum depression.