Seeing your baby for the first time is an experience you will never forget. All those moments of preparing and dreaming have finally become real. Once the baby is born, assuming there are no complications, your baby will be placed directly on your chest. A warm blanket will be placed on the baby and now the bonding can begin. This connection of the unwrapped baby lying directly on your skin is called skin-to-skin contact and can provide you and your baby time to get to know each other. This initial snuggling also has very important health benefits.
Skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth has these positive effects on a newborn and new mother:
- Breastfeed better
- Cry less and are calmer
- Stay warmer
- Have better blood sugar levels
- Have more stable and normal heart rate and blood pressure
- Are protected by some of your good bacteria
- Breastfeed more easily
- Learn cues that their baby is getting hungry
- Bond more with their baby
- Gain confidence and contentment in caring for their baby
The best start for breastfeeding is when a baby is kept skin-to-skin with the mother immediately after birth until the first feeding. The baby’s sense of smell allows him to find the breast to begin the initial latch.