Mother-Baby Dyad: Snuggle to Heal, Grow & Thrive

27 Jul

We’re on the home stretch in our “11 Ways to Prepare for Your Best Birth” series and only have 2 left!

#10 Keep mother and baby together, with lots of skin-to-skin – it’s best for mother, baby, and breastfeeding

To clarify the title of today’s post: Think of the mother and baby as one unit in the first 3 months of baby’s life; we call it the “mother-baby dyad”. They need almost all the same things in the postpartum period — lots of snuggling, nourishment, rest, support, love.

I previously wrote a blog post on this topic after attending an all-day class with renowned perinatal neuroscientist and neonatologist Nils Bergman, so will refer you to it here: Snuggle with Your Baby: Benefits of Skin-to-Skin. The focus of that post was mostly about the benefits to the baby of skin-to-skin (aka “kangaroo care”).

I want to also detail a few benefits of this closeness for the mom (or non-postpartum/breastfeeding parent or family member, for select bullets):

  • Helps parent to bond and connect with baby
  • Helps parent get to know and understand their unique baby and baby’s more subtle signs in an acute and helpful way
  • The closer baby can stay to breastfeeding mom, the more restful it is and therefore the more conducive to healing from giving birth
  • Thanks to oxytocin (the “love” hormone) produced by skin-to-skin and, in even greater amounts, through breastfeeding helps mom feel happier and more relaxed, thereby reducing the chance of suffering from postpartum depression
  • The oxytocin is also helping your uterus heal, helping shrink your uterus (called “involution”) toward its pre-pregnant size each time you feed your baby in the first few weeks
  • The more mom can hold your baby skin-to-skin, the more frequently baby will tend to breastfeed, which bodes well for a healthy milk supply

I want to acknowledge that there are instances in which mom is not available to hold baby skin-to-skin, and absolutely it’s still helpful from a physiological perspective for dad, partner, or another family member or friend to hold baby skin-to-skin. So boost those endorphins and have fun snuggling away on your sweet baby!

More reading

Snuggle with Your Baby: Benefits of Skin-to-Skin (Birth Matters NYC)
7 Reasons To Be Skin-To-Skin With Your Baby After Birth
 (Mommypotamus)
Skin-To-Skin Care After Birth: A Practical Guide (Mommypotamus)
Birthful podcast: Ep. 56, SylviaHouston, Skin-to-Skin
Video: Dr. Nils Bergman on Skin to Skin
http://ninobirth.org/
http://www.skintoskincontact.com/home.aspx
http://www.kangaroomothercare.com/
Giving Birth with Confidence (Lamaze) – The Wonder of Mothers: Skin-to-Skin Care
Video: Keep Your Baby with You After Birth
Birthful podcast: Ep. 56, SylviaHouston, Skin-to-Skin

 

Advertisements

One Response to “Mother-Baby Dyad: Snuggle to Heal, Grow & Thrive”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 11 Ways to Prepare for Your Best Birth | Birth Matters NYC - December 14, 2016

    […] Keep mother and baby together, and with lots of skin-to-skin – it’s best for mother, baby, and b… […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: