“The skin, the largest organ in the human body, is very rich with nerve endings. At the time when baby is making the transition to air breathing, and the initial breathing patterns are very irregular, stroking stimulates the newborn to breathe more rhythmically–the therapeutic value of a parent’s touch.” – Dr. Sears
Did you know that skin-to-skin immediately after birth is greatly beneficial to both baby and mother? Baby’s are more likely to latch well, maintain their body temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and have normal blood pressure, and blood sugar. They’re less likely to cry, and more likely to breastfeed exclusively, and longer. That intoxicating, wonderful smell of a newborn helps mum (+ dad) to bond deeply with baby. It releases oxytocin, which contracts a mother’s uterus, stimulates prolactin (the milk-making hormone), and helps mum to feel connected and close to baby.
Fearfully and wonderfully made, indeed! I watched a video recently in which a baby, after being pronounced dead, “comes back to life” when a mother holds him skin-to-skin. (Watch it here if you are interested — it’s an amazing story about how God preserves a little life.)
Did you get to be skin-to-skin with your baby after your birth(s)?
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