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Title : Skin to Skin with an image of Cara with her hands pressed over her heart and her face in a warm smile

Episode 46: Skin to Skin

birth prep bodyfeeding breastfeeding postpartum Aug 25, 2022

I LOVE talking about Skin to Skin and it's honestly my favorite part of any childbirth - my favorite part of my own births and my favorite to witness!

Full Transcript: 

[00:00:00] Hello. Hello and welcome to the Brave Journey Birth Channel. I'm Cara Lee. I'm a certified birth dual and childbirth educator. And today we're talking about the benefits of immediate skin to skin after your baby is born.

So that first hour after a baby is born is so important. It's sometimes called the golden hour.

It's an essential, it's sensitive, it's vulnerable. It's a really important time. And so one of the best things that you could do for yourself and for your infant is ensure that your infant is skin to skin.

And what skin to skin means is there's no clothing between you and your infant. The infant is not wearing a swaddle. They're not in a onesie they've just been born and they've been placed directly on your skin somewhere on your body. Sometimes they're on your stomach. If the umbilical cord can't reach before their umbilical cord has been cut. And we'll talk about [00:01:00] delayed cord clamping in another video, but the importance of skin to skin is really, I just can't overstate it.

So the benefits of skin to skin include helping your infant's breathing stabilize. So imagine they've been in the womb. They've had all of their oxygen levels, all their food, and their temperature regulation. It's all controlled for them. It's either coming through the umbilical cord or their body temperature is being maintained through your body temperature, and now they're outside. And it's a huge transition. I mean, just think about that.

It's, it's massive. Their lungs are working for the first time and they're regulating their own body temperature for the first time. So there's concerns about making sure that they're getting enough oxygen in their system, and also making sure that they are regulating their body temperature and skin to skin helps with both.

Skin to skin helps short infants regulate their body temperature and infants that are skin to skin for the first hour are shown to have higher, healthier oxygen levels.

Another benefit of skin to skin is its long lasting. [00:02:00] Infants, who get skin to skin within that first hour. for that first hour are six times more likely to be breastfeeding body feeding six weeks on. So it helps you establish infant feeding helps you establish feeding your baby from your body. The skin to skin triggers, all sorts of these changes that are happening in terms of your body switching from growing a placenta and maintaining a pregnancy to now making milk and sustaining an infant through your mammary glands. In addition, if your infant is skin to skin, they often will have their first latch at a normal instinctive time. Um, which is not right away when they're born. You don't necessarily wanna rush it.

But usually within that first hour, they've started to root around. They're moving their mouths around, looking for that first latch. And if they get that within that first hour, they're six times more likely we breastfeeding and body feeding at six weeks, six weeks to six months. So it's long lasting positive impact.

The data also show, show that infants that don't get immediate skin to skin, but are instead swaddled and [00:03:00] put in a separate bassinet right after birth, that they have are 12 times more likely to be crying. And Parents tend to have an increase in anxiety.

So the converse of that is that having your infant on your skin decreases your anxiety. Increases your oxytocin makes you feel wonderful. And this is where I'm going to get very, very biased and include my own experience from my two times giving birth is that, that immediate skin skin right after the baby is born is maybe one of my favorite feelings in the entire world.

And it's the hormones and the instinct and the way the baby smells and the feeling of them on your chest. It is just a wonderful, wonderful experience. So the data shows this, the data shows that it, the decreases parental anxiety and also increases your satisfaction with your entire birth experience if you get that immediate skin to skin.

But for me, in terms of my personal experience, it's just a dreamy feeling. so it's hard for me to not, um, project that when I'm seeing a new parent's skin to skin [00:04:00] with their infant, it just makes me so happy.

So those are the benefits of skin to skin, the importance of delaying some of those newborn procedures in that newborn exam at least an hour. People just, they can wait, they can wait.

And it often has to do with all your medical care providers checklists, the nurses, the baby nurse, everybody has a checklist of things that they need to check on your infant.

And so they wanna take your infant and do an exam, which is a quick exam, but it can wait. It can wait until you get that first hour with your newborn.

And a lot of the newborn exams can happen on your chest. They can do the vitamin K injection and the erythromycin and check their temperature. And a lot of the very beginning of those newborn exams could be observed while the baby is on your chest. And they can wait an hour to take the baby over to the warmer and do the weighing and all the other things. It can wait, the weighing can wait, too. You'll find out what that baby weighs after that first hour has happened. You may be not even with it anyways to care.

Okay. That's it. For this week, I post a new video every Thursday, be sure to like and subscribe. So you get notified for the next video comes up [00:05:00] and we'll be talking about delayed cord clamping next week.

See you then.



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