Skin to Skin

For at least the first two hours of your baby’s life, the two of you deserve to be–need to be–together, with your bare or diaper-only baby on your bare skin, chest to chest. If you’re wearing a shirt or gown, just open it. Lean back comfortably and let gravity hold your baby against you; no need to lie on your back. A regular blanket over both of you is all you need. Study after study shows the importance of this skin to skin contact. Measurements, ointments, everything can wait. This is your time together. It comes once in both your lives. And it can shape both your lives. It’s your right. And it’s what your baby expects and needs. Skin to skin contact after birth helps to:

* Stabilize your baby’s heart rate, breathing, and temperature
* Stabilize your own temperature
* Prevent baby blues later on
* Reduce your baby’s stress (no, crying doesn’t exercise a baby’s lungs; it strains his heart and brain)
* Reduce your baby’s pain from medical procedures
* Reduce your stress
* Increase interactions between you and your baby
* Increase the likelihood and length of breastfeeding

Taken from: The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

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