The Value of Skin to Skin Contact
For a new parent having the ability to be skin to skin is allows for a great bonding moment. Even as a new adoptive parent, this is just as important as if you had given birth to your bundle of joy. A little shocking, isn’t it? But so interesting! The baby you now have has gone through what all babies have gone through. He or she spent months in the womb and is now in a bright, loud and scary world. Your son or daughter needs you to provide them with comfort. Here at Adoption Choices of Nevada, we’ve put together information on why you should have skin to skin contact with your little one!
Healthy Full-Term Babies and Skin to Skin Contact
It all begins with bonding! This is an important thing when you have a baby. By bonding with your baby, you are letting him or her know that you are safe. When a baby is placed against your chest, he or she can feel your heart. This is a familiar sensation for your child.
Imagine you are your baby for a moment. The main sounds you would have heard in the womb would be the voices of your mother and father and their heartbeats. It’s soothing to listen to a heartbeat even in adults. As a newborn, this sound and feeling allows him or her to feel as if he or she is safe in the womb again. Being a baby is really hard! Everything is new and that can be really stressful.
The longer your baby has skin to skin contact, the more benefits there are, too!
When a baby is laying on you, it is helping your son or daughter regulate their body temperature. Babies can’t regulate their temperature just yet and often catch a cold easily. By being on your chest, it helps keep your child warm with the use of a blanket over both of you. Even dads can do this! Just by relaxing with your baby on your chest, you are making him or her feel safe and warm with you. For the mothers who can breastfeed, this is also helpful. It could help your baby learn to latch on better. It also stimulates making milk!
There are even more benefits to being skin to skin with your baby. During the first few hours, you are actually giving your baby bacteria. Wait! It can be a little scary to think of bacteria, but this bacteria is the good kind. By introducing him or her to the good bacteria on your skin, you are giving a much-needed boost for your child’s system. This is good for both of you to do, as it introduces two sets of good bacteria for the baby.
Neonatal Babies and Skin to Skin Contact
Not every baby is full-term, and it would be disrespectful towards the mothers who have babies in the neonatal unit (NICU) to not include them. There are roughly one to every ten babies that need extra help from the NICU. These little ones benefit from skin to skin contact as well.
When you hold your little one skin to skin, you are improving your little one’s oxygen saturation more than a baby that isn’t against the skin. This is where the term kangaroo care comes into play. Kangaroo care is the act of putting premature babies against the skin of someone. It may not be the mother, the father, or a relative. There are volunteer programs where people can sit with a baby for a few hours to give him or her skin to skin contact.
There is also the heart stabilization in these babies, which conserves calories. Every calorie saved is what helps them grow and get to an ideal birth weight. While it isn’t an overnight process, the more that it happens, the more likely it is that these babies will keep growing.
Sleep Time and Skin to Skin Contact
Another added perk to having your baby against your skin is again in sleep time. Sleep is key for growing and healing. By gaining extra sleep, your baby has the needed time to conserve her or his energy.
Being a parent during this time can feel like there is a lack of control over your baby. Sitting with your baby on your chest with just the diaper and blanket on your child is your control. It is likely to increase confidence that you are a part of his or her care.
Now, there is an added perk to being the mother here. Sorry dads! By keeping your baby between your breasts, it helps your child regulate his or her temperature better. It also helps aid your baby in falling asleep as he or she will feel safe.
Skin to Skin Contact is Important
Skin to skin contact is something that all infants and newborns can benefit from. The best part is that both you and your spouse or partner can offer skin to skin contact with your child. It increases bonding for each one of you by just spending a few hours every day with your baby on your chest. Even if that is your child’s nap time on you with a comfy chair and blanket.
Adoption Choices of Nevada
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Nevada. You may visit the website here or contact us by 775-825-4673 (Reno Office) or 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas Office). Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm PST.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Tia Kitchens is a college graduate with a B.S in Psychology from Capella University who has always had a passion for three things: animals, writing, and mac ‘n cheese. Two of these three are things she has based her work around. Animals are a big impact on her life due to her love for helping others through difficult situations. Through her studies, she has found the human-animal bond is strong enough to help others. This, paired with her writing, helps her record her findings and teach others through her words.
She is excited to join Adoption Choices as an Editorial Intern because she’s wanted to adopt since she was little, and is excited to learn about the industry and the adoption journey.
Her goal is to make a change in the world with her words and end up on someone’s inspiration Pinterest board! Being a key quote on someone’s Pinterest board it shows her words have a huge impact on people. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but if that picture is just words it surely means more that way! To learn more about her, follow her on Twitter and Instagram!
“Kangaroo Care & Babies.” Cleveland Clinic, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/12578-kangaroo-care.
“Skin-to-Skin Contact.” Baby Friendly Initiative, https://www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/baby-friendly-resources/implementing-standards-resources/skin-to-skin-contact/.
“Skin-to-Skin Contact for Mother & Baby.” Cleveland Clinic, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15276-skin-to-skin-contact-for-you–baby.