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The Benefits of Skin-to-Skin Contact

Skin-to-skin contact is incredibly important for the newborn's transition from the womb to the outside world, and has numerous benefits for both the parent and the baby. It is recommended to practice skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth and continue it frequently though out the early weeks and months. Creating a warm, peaceful environment and prioritizing this connection can greatly contribute to successful breastfeeding. Here are five benefits of skin-to-skin contact.

  1. Regulated body temperature: Skin-to-skin contact helps regulate the baby's body temperature by utilizing the parent's warmth. This is especially crucial for newborns as it reduces the energy they need to spend on thermoregulation, allowing them to focus on feeding and growing.

  2. Improved bonding and emotional connection: Skin-to-skin contact promotes a strong emotional bond between the parent and the baby. It provides a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity, creating a nurturing environment that enhances the parent-baby relationship.

  3. Reduced stress and crying: The soothing effects of skin-to-skin contact help reduce stress from both the parent and the baby. It has been shown to lower cortisol levels, promoting a calm and relaxed state. This, in turn, reduces excessive crying and promotes a more peaceful feeding experience.

  4. Improved latch and breastfeeding initiation: Skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth helps stimulate the baby's natural instinct to breastfeed. It promotes the release of hormones like oxytocin, which facilitates the let-down reflex and encourages the baby to latch on correctly, leading to effective milk transfer.

  5. Enhanced milk production: The warmth and proximity of skin-to-skin contact encourage the release of prolactin, the hormone responsible for milk production. The baby's body heat against the parent's skin stimulates the breasts, signaling the body to produce more milk.

Postpartum doulas facilitate skin-to-skin contact by attending to household tasks (i.e. bottle washing, baby laundry) while the parent bonds with their baby. To find out more about how a postpartum doula can support your postpartum journey contact Madam Doula today!

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