Whole Parenting Family

Skin to Skin Contact and What That Means

Surely you’ve heard the phrase “skin-to-skin” contact with your newborn. You haven’t? You’re not alone. I was 7 months along with our first before someone mentioned it to me in passing. Skin-to-what?

And now my daughter is almost three weeks old and hasn’t worn clothing except for when she had to leave the house. She’s always wrapped up in a blanket or on one of our chests for skin-to-skin! Refrain from separating your child from you, especially when he or she is snoozing. Just keep close to the little one! It’s wonderful for both of you.

This scientifically proven method of bonding with your newborn child is both beautiful and bio-meta-physically powerful. It is when you put your newborn on your chest as close to after birth as possible, and that contact has a deep impact on you both.

It makes initiating breastfeeding easier, stabilizes the baby’s temperature, calms the baby after the big entry into the world!, and actually regulates ex-utero brain development. The baby was close to her mother for 9 months, and to separate her from the sounds, smells, and other sensations of closeness is just sad. This is also why we wear our child.

Here’s a beautiful table from Skin to Skin’s website on what exactly it is:

Skin-to-skin contact is  
                 A PLACE
SSC is a place where CARE is provided!  Our *care* does not change… it is a place where any *care* we give works with our biology.
Skin-to-skin contact is
It is the only place in which newborns have survived for the last million years, and developed toward optimal health.
Skin-to-skin contact is
Our DNA, our genes, are adapted to this PLACE, the Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness (EEA).
Skin-to-skin contact is
The DNA makes a brain that is able to take in expected sensations: mother provides the first sensations that make the brain work well.
Skin-to-skin contact is
Birth is a *critical period* – it is the earliest sensations that fire the earliest essential brain pathways, both in the baby and the mother.
Skin-to-skin contact is 
SSC make’s the brain feel safe, which makes an approach orientation toward the breast; and then also ensures sleep cycling between meals.
Skin-to-skin contact is
In our western culture we separate mothers and babies; SEPARATION  is highly ABNORMAL to baby’s biology, genes and brain.
Skin-to-skin contact is
Separation is the WRONG PLACE … the physiology is dysregulated, the DNA must adapt, and the brain loses  its resilience.
Skin-to-skin contact is
Our culture separates mothers and babies ONLY because it is seen as *normal*.  There is evidence that separation  produces HARM.
Skin-to-skin contact is
Skin-to-skin contact for healthy newborns therefore means ZERO SEPARATION from birth.
Skin-to-skin contact is
The more premature a newborn is, the less resilience it has, the more it needs skin-to-skin contact. (But the more we separate … )
Skin-to-skin contact is
Mothering is biology … and that biology sees the mother and infant as a DYAD, a single unit.  SSC is good for mother’s brain and body also !
Skin-to-skin contact is
Fathers can and should do SSC. The more premature the baby, the more skin-to-skin is needed, the more father should help.
Skin-to-skin contact is
Everything we do must be done safely – skin-to-skin contact is *the safest* for any baby … but must be done safely – TECHNIQUE  matters.

Also see this informational website called Kangaroo Mother Care, another term for a more complete version of skin-to-skin which encompasses exclusive breastfeeding as well.


1 Comment

  1. […] their “nursing” gowns? They are hospital gowns with two slits for your breasts. Um, skin-to-skin, anyone? How can your baby optimize his latch when he can’t smell your milk through all the […]