You may already be familiar with the term “kangaroo care” or “skin-to-skin” care for your baby. It’s an important way to not only bond with your baby, but to help them thrive and grow also. A 2017 study revealed that skin-to-skin care provides long-lasting benefits that help your baby throughout their life.
How Skin-to-Skin Works
Skin-to-skin care is actually a very simple way to bond with your baby and provide them with health benefits. To perform skin-to-skin care, you simply place your baby on your chest, skin to skin.
Your little one may be in a diaper and placed on your bare skin, or you could simply open their shirt and your shirt to place them close to you.
Mom, dad, other partners, and caregivers can perform skin-to-skin, and it’s especially beneficial to underweight and premature babies in the NICU. You can perform skin-to-skin with your baby at home, in the hospital, and anytime day or night, providing you never sleep with your baby on your chest.
So what can you specifically do for babies who need skin-to-skin contact right after birth ?
Children are warm, stable temperature, heart rate, breathing rate and blood sugar.
Maintaining temperature can be of utmost importance for infants. The transition from the applied environment in the external environment, the temperature difference, plus the wet skin makes the child very susceptible to cold. Mother’s breasts are much warmer than different bases, in just a few minutes when in contact with the baby’s skin will be warm. This will help children down under the energy expenditure to keep the body warm, early suckling with non-yellow drops of milk, avoiding apnea; do oxygen in enhanced saturation; Time helps regulate the tempo.
Babies cry less
Skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby for just 20 minutes has reduced cortisol levels (stress hormone) by 67-72% in the baby’s body. Being close to the mother also helps the baby in pain and quickly recovers after the birth. As a result, equipment set up this way is often less stressed and less strained .
Facilitating brain development
At birth, a baby’s brain is not fully mature and is 25% the size of an adult. “Skin-to-skin” contact is a protective experience involving multiple sensory relationships. The fact that exposure helps develop neurotransmitters, which are especially important for brain maturation. Thanks to “skin-to-skin”, a baby’s natural deep sleep is one of the factors that help accelerate brain maturation.
Standardization and weight gain
After just 1 hour of “skin-to-skin” contact, your baby’s digestive system has been restored to its optimal balance. The positional nerve is activated, guiding the increase in capillary size in the neonatal intestinal lumen. As a result, the surface area is increased, and the ability to absorb nutrients is improved.
Skin-to-skin contact helps babies absorb bacteria from the mother’s skin. This thing not give up is dangerous because newborn babies have acquired resistance to many of these bacteria while still in the womb.
Babies suckle early, milk comes in early and more
“Skin-to-skin” contact helps kickstart baby’s natural search. Baby will catch more and more accurately. Research shows that the odds of babies being breastfed shortly after birth double if babies are given immediate “skin-to-skin” .
Mothers who performed “skin-to-skin” from the outset were more likely to continue to breastfeed exclusively when they returned home.
An increase in the mother’s oxytocin and prolactin hormones in the first few days after birth helps to increase milk production in the long run.
Mothers who have difficulty breastfeeding often experience near-instant improvement by performing “skin-to-skin” contact for a minimum of 60 minutes at a time, 1-2 times per day.
Facing the mother, the remaining “skin-to-skin” brings more benefits.
After giving birth, it is often difficult for the mother to forget the feeling of pain and fatigue, but “skin-to-skin” with the baby is like a pain reliever , helping mothers to feel comfortable, satisfied and extremely happy.
During the “skin-to-skin” time with the baby after birth.
The mother’s blood pressure gradually returns to a stable state, the pain disappears, happiness and limitations can be greatly influenced after birth.
“Skin-to-skin” with mom and dad is the first way to bond parents with their children, giving them a sense of security when being sheltered.
Essentially it means that doctors aren’t 100% sure how skin-to-skin care will benefit your baby throughout life. But the evidence suggests that skin-to-skin care as a baby will have a positive effect in the years to come.
The researchers explained that it’s hard to separate kangaroo care from other things that the parents did—a mom performing skin-to-skin while breastfeeding.
For example, or a father performing skin-to-skin while reading a book to his baby.
However, they did find some indications that skin-to-skin care has long-term benefits.
The results showed that the children in the kangaroo care group had lower rates of school absences, a more optimal home environment. And significantly less hyperactivity, aggressiveness, and externalization.