The Importance of Skin-to-Skin Contact
As a new parent, you may wonder if it is safe to let your newborn lay on your chest. The answer is yes! In fact, skin-to-skin contact is highly encouraged by healthcare professionals. It is beneficial for both you and your baby. Here’s why:
Skin-to-skin contact promotes bonding between you and your baby. The close proximity and physical touch help your baby feel secure and loved. It also helps you develop a strong emotional attachment to your child.
Regulate Body Temperature
A newborn’s body temperature can fluctuate quickly. Skin-to-skin contact helps regulate their body temperature by using your body heat. Your baby can sense the changes in your body temperature and adjust their own accordingly.
Skin-to-skin contact can also help stimulate breastfeeding. The release of hormones during skin-to-skin contact can increase milk production and help your baby latch on better.
Safe Practices for Skin-to-Skin Contact
While skin-to-skin contact is highly encouraged, it is important to follow some safety guidelines.
Make sure that you are in a comfortable position before placing your baby on your chest. You can use pillows to support your back, neck, and arms. Your baby should be lying on their back, with their head turned to one side. Avoid placing your baby on their stomach.
Always supervise your baby during skin-to-skin contact. Make sure that your baby’s airway is clear and that they are breathing normally. Do not fall asleep while holding your baby.
Wear clothing that allows easy access to your chest, such as a button-down shirt or a nursing bra. Your baby should be dressed in a diaper and a blanket, if needed, to keep them warm.
When to Avoid Skin-to-Skin Contact
While skin-to-skin contact is beneficial for most newborns, there are some situations where it should be avoided.
Premature babies may not be able to regulate their body temperature as well as full-term babies. They may need to be placed in an incubator or warmer until they are stable enough for skin-to-skin contact.
If you or your baby are sick, skin-to-skin contact should be avoided. This can help prevent the spread of illness.
If your baby needs to undergo medical procedures, skin-to-skin contact may not be possible. In this case, talk to your healthcare provider about other ways to promote bonding.
In conclusion, skin-to-skin contact is a safe and beneficial practice for most newborns. It promotes bonding, regulates body temperature, and stimulates breastfeeding. However, it is important to follow safety guidelines and avoid skin-to-skin contact in certain situations. Consult with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or questions about skin-to-skin contact.