Skin to skin


He's huddled up against you in the frog position.. You're visualizing this great moment with your baby. I called it "my little hot water bottle". But the real term is "skin to skin". A practice that may seem harmless, just for the time of a hug. Elise our child care nurse explains how it's so much more than that!

Skin to skin

What is skin to skin?

Skin-to-skin contact between the newborn and his or her parents' skin is called direct skin-to-skin contact; the child is preferably naked or with a diaper to prevent leakage 

Isn't that just a hug?

The idea is to give the baby sensations he already knows. For example, in the womb, he hears the beating of his mother's heart, so outside the womb, by practicing skin-to-skin, the baby is allowed to hear that familiar sound again. The contact container allows your newborn to feel secure. He will thus participate and promote the bond of attachment.

Skin-to-skin also allows you to simply transfer heat from your own body to your baby's body. This practice is used particularly in premature babies who have difficulty regulating their temperature.

It will also stimulate lactation. Skin-to-skin contact will give the mother a feeling of pleasure. So these famous pleasure hormones will in turn activate lactation.

Are there any safety rules to follow?

Yes, the first month, you must be vigilant and look at your baby's nostrils. They must be clear to allow normal breathing. Be careful when we make skin to skin we do not take a nap it is necessary to stay awake and vigilant. Your position should be comfortable you can be lying down but not completely, think about having your back straightened. On your baby's side, his knees must go up (physiological position) with his hands up so that he can have free access to his mouth. Installed this way your baby will be at a safe distance to see you. At birth, your baby perceives contrasts at a distance of about 15cm and can smell the odours. Skin to skin a moment of meeting a beautiful connection. But especially if at birth, you could not practice skin to skin no panic it is quite possible to start later!

And Daddy, can he enjoy it too?

Yes, of course it is. Often it is offered to the father when the mother has undergone a cesarean section. The baby then spends its first hours of life against its father. Apart from this situation, it's true that we don't often talk about skin to skin with dads. Yet it is just as beneficial as it is for the mother. And newborns love to hold on to daddy's chest hair, so it's reassuring.

Elise's advice:

Once you have left the maternity and you find yourself in the family at home I advise the father to take his shirt off as the mother settles in front and the newborn in turn in front of the Russian doll effect. At this moment, the emotions are positive, the father is integrated and the mother reassured. Obviously no obligation it must be a shared pleasure if we force ourselves, it is valid for everything if we are not convinced it will not work. Non-verbal communication is 75% so think about it!