Importance of Skin To Skin Contact After Birth

By: Kristy Kemp

Skin contact between the mother and child have been proven through scientific means to be very important.This skin to skin contact has been credited for the reduction of mortality rate from about 70% to about 30%. There are many benefits that scientist have proven all over the world to be the importance of ensuring that the newborn child remains in contact with his or her mother.

Skin to skin contact keeps the baby warmer since the child has not come to stable temperature regulation, the skin of the mother will help that of the child regulate its temperatures. The temperatures of babies are not always stable, and the mother’s breast is essential in controlling it. The mother’s breast temperature can increase suddenly then within a very short time; this happens to ensure that the body temperatures of the baby do not increase excessively or reduce to detrimental levels. The primary reason why children cannot maintain their temperature is that their breathing rate is slow leading to the slow heartbeat. This, in turn, makes the distribution of blood within the skin slow and as we know, blood is responsible for the allocation of the heat all over the body.

Another important factor of skin to skin contact is that it is necessary for bonding. The time immediately after birth is called the Golden period. Between this period the mother and the baby should create a chemical connection with one another. By maintaining the contact with each other’s skin, they will be able to develop a bond which will be inseparable shortly. This is the reason why you find some babies can identify their mothers by just a mere smell.

Skin to skin contact reduces postpartum depression. When mother maintains skin contact with the child, research shows that she will develop a feeling of being happy and comfortable. When the mother does not maintain this body contact there is ground to believe that she will be depressed because she will feel that something went wrong during birth, she will develop a feeling of anxiety and may feel that something might have gone wrong during the birth process.

Skin to skin contact will make the baby much comfortable and lower stress levels of the newborn, thus cry less. Skin contact
between the mother and the child have been observed to reduce the crying rate of children by 42%

Skin to skin contact also helps in making the babies fall asleep easily also for a longer period. This is because skin to skin contact offers warmth to the child. Mothers during this time can be relieved from stress characterized by crying babies.

Skin to skin contact helps in improving the health of the baby. This is because skin to skin contact stimulates the hormones in the body of the child which will, in turn, assist in the growth of villi which are important in human digestion

The contact between mothers’ skin and that of the child is integral for a cordial relationship with the mother and the child.

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