The Magic of Skin to Skin Contact for Newborns

So many mothers these day are becoming more and more aware about the importance of the first few hours after birth. If I were to recommend ONE action that is MOST important and will directly impact the baby in the best way it would be immediate skin to skin contact.

Babies are born needing to go skin to skin with their mother directly on her chest. The skin on a mother’s chest can thermoregulate a babies temperature and increase in temperature up to 4 degrees if needed. Babies who go directly skin to skin stay warmer and can regulate their body temperature better, they have higher blood sugars and better respiratory rates.

They become more quiet and alert, they open their eyes and are able to connect with their mothers for the first time outside of the womb. Mother’s skin is a familiar smell to a baby who has been cradled inside of her for 9 months and her sound, scent and touch are all things that make a baby feel safe. So when this baby is born and comes into this world that is cold, loud and with unfamiliar sounds and smells it can be scary but coming back to mothers breasts gives babies a sense of security that they need.

The Magic of skin to skin

Placing baby on your chest and wrapping them snuggly with either a blanket or by wrapping a baby onto you in a woven wrap give babies deep pressure touch which goes to the emotional processing until of the brain and to the amygdala and tells baby he is safe.

This immediate skin to skin contact with baby during these early hours affects parts of the brain that affect social and emotional intelligence. These early moments teach babies to trust and to develop the capacity to love. This trust is built on an inner security of the baby stemming from an outside relationship.

Such a simple act, holding your new baby skin to skin and just loving them in the moments after birth can lead to a cascade of emotional and physical development essential to a newborn.

The Magic of skin to skin

Dr. Nils Bergman is one of the leading researchers in the importance of skin to skin contact and one of the early promoters of it even with preterm infants based on science and evidence. This is an incredible and heartwarming video or Dr. Nils Bergman talking about the amazing mother child connection and bond in those first hours of life.

See it here

Images courtesy of Nicole Taylor Photography of my home birth with Arya, July 16, 2014.

Maria Fuller

I’m a former critical care paramedic with a concentration in Emergency and Disaster Management, an injury on the job led me to retire from that and manage the disaster that is my home these days, I’m lucky I had good training!

I believe in Love at first sight- I met my husband on his 18th birthday and the rest is history

I’m passionate about a women’s right to birth without fear or pressure whether that is at home or in a hospital, I’ve done it in both places.

I have two beautiful girls, Alexa and Arya, 5.5 years apart. I believe each of my daughters was sent to me to remind me of a piece of myself I have lost along the way, it has been exciting journey to rekindle those parts of “ME” again.

We live on a little River in Southbury, CT with our Rotti Beagle mix, a Crazy 1 year old German Shephard and a fat cat that won’t leave the basement, he might be to fat to climb the stairs.

I love a good margarita on the rocks with Salt but ONLY if my husband makes it with hand squeezed lemons, limes and homemade simple syrup, any other margarita sucks.

I listen to “pitbull” in the car with my daughters, they have no idea who Raffi is but Alexa knows most of the words to “Calle Ocho”

I’m the girl who will love you fiercely but is not afraid to “tell you like it is”, if I do, it means I actually care about you!

I love my girls but there are many days I don’t like them or want to be around them. Yep, I just said that, its normal for you to feel that too!

I believe that mothers a given a handbook when their baby is born, its called “intuition” and it will never lead her astray.

I am a photographer who helps women “Celebrate the Courageous journey of motherhood”

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