Skin to skin contact immediately after birth, is where your baby is held close and naked to your chest. You will both be covered with a blanket to keep warm so that you can stay and build that natural bond for as long as you wish. This first “golden hour” of life is a time for you and your baby to get to know each other. Your baby’s natural habitat is being close to you and hearing your heartbeat. When a baby is taken away from their natural habitat, it shows all the signs of being under great stress. Therefore, caring for your baby in this way provides comfort, and can be enjoyed by both parents in the first few weeks and months of your baby’s life.
Whichever way you choose to feed your baby, you will be encouraged to engage with skin to skin contact for as long as you wish following birth, partners can also benefit from skin to skin contact too. Responding to your baby and giving them lots of cuddles and plenty of skin to skin contact will help their brain to stimulate and develop.
When you baby is in skin to skin contact, your baby becomes happier and more settled as they can hear your own heartbeat which they were regularly used to hearing inside of you. Baby’s temperature and blood sugar levels becomes more stabilised when in skin to skin contact.
Not only that, skin to skin contact immediately after birth allows your baby to be colonized by the same bacteria as you. This, plus breastfeeding, are important in the prevention of allergic diseases.