Skin to skin, what's the point?

Skin to skin, what's the point?

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The skin with mother-baby skin, technique increasingly practiced in the birth room, has many interests. The explanations of Aude Derrier-Sanlaville, hospitable midwife.

Skin to skin, benefits for your baby and for you

  • If you wish it, immediately after birth, your naked child will be placed most often on your chest and possibly on that of his dad. Your two skins will be in contact, skin to skin. This has multiple benefits for your baby as well as for you.
  • First, it will help prevent hypothermia and warm your child. The warmth of your body will also serve as a natural incubator.
  • This intimate contact will reassure your baby. Thus he will find all that was familiar to him during his uterine life: your voice, your smell, the beating of your heart, the sound of your intestines ... This will allow him to calm down, to evacuate the tension related to childbirth. At your touch, your little one will reduce its secretion of stress hormone: adrenaline while increasing the secretion of endorphin, a natural analgesic, which will allow him to regain a state of well-being.
  • The skin with skin will also stimulate the secretion of oxytocin, the hormone promoting love and maternal attachment. You will naturally want to cuddle, caress and talk to him gently. This hormone plays exactly a decisive role in starting breastfeeding.
  • Finally, this direct contact will allow your baby to colonize the bacteria present on your skin. They will be useful to him to create his own flora and to better defend himself.

Precautions, however

So many benefits that make it a practice more and more recommended in the birth room. Nevertheless, skin to skin requires some precautions:

  • There must always be someone present in the birth room to watch that the mother does not fall asleep, at the risk of dropping her child. The child should be placed on one side, with the head clear (not the crushed nose between the breasts so that it does not choke). It will be covered by a sheet so that it does not take cold.
  • It is recommended to continue skin-to-skin after birth because it generates a source of appeasement and reinforces the bond between the baby and his parents. You will continue to make sure your toddler always has a clear head.

The association Sparadrap proposes a video to sensitize the parents with skin to skin and to explain the benefits

Frédérique Odasso