Skin to Skin:

I bet most of you have heard that skin-to-skin is beneficial, but I find it incredibly fascinating to know why. There has been tons of research done on this (and you know I love my research) so I want to share.

The history is so cool. 2 physicians in Colombia in the 1970’s didn’t have enough incubators in the hospital to care for all of the preemies, so they placed the naked baby on mom’s chest and wrapped them in effort to use the mom’s body heat to warm the baby. They noticed the babies were thriving and named this kangaroo care.

Researchers have found SO MANY BENEFITS: (this isn’t even all of them!)

🌡 Newborns have a hard time regulating their body temperature. By being on the mom’s chest, her breasts can actually warm or cool the baby as needed (and for twins, each breast can do this separately for each baby’s needs 🤯).

🤱 Improved breastfeeding: “Newborns that have skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth are twice as likely to breastfeed within the first hour.” Mom’s prolactin level then rises which helps to maintain milk supply. One study showed that moms who were having a hard time breastfeeding saw almost immediate improvement after starting skin-to-skin 1-2 times/day.⠀⠀

❤️ It helps stabilize the baby’s heart rate and respiratory rate. It also lowers cortisol (stress hormone) levels. ⠀⠀

I know this can be harder if you’ve had a c-section (2 time c-section mama here 🙋‍♀️) or if your baby goes to the NICU.

In the NICU, kangaroo care has been incorporated into standard medical care and even increases survival rates. I find this research VERY interesting. Studies done in different countries around the world (so different types of medical care practices) concluded that skin-to-skin in the NICU showed the following: 50% less risk of developing sepsis, 78% less likely to develop hypothermia, and 88% less likely to have hypoglycemia.
If it’s possible during your c-section, you can ask to do skin-to-skin while they are finishing the surgery. Or as soon as you go to the recovery room. The benefits are endless and it’s really such a cool bonding moment 😍.