The Power of Oxytocin Hormones and Skin-on-Skin Contact

The Power of Oxytocin Hormones and Skin-on-Skin Contact

Skin-on-skin contact is not just for babies. At any age, it can have an impact on the bond between mother and child, whether you need to soothe a hyperactive infant or increase milk production.

Holding your infant skin-to-skin increases your levels of oxytocin. This is the hormone that's responsible for milk ejection and boosting milk volume. Your levels of oxytocin have been shown to rise when you cuddle up, skin-to-skin.

Learn more about oxytocin and what chocolate chip lactation cookies can do for you and your child, in this guide from milk & cookies by Jewels.

The Health Benefits of Skin on Skin

Every parent knows how much babies like being held, however, there's more to it than that! Recent research indicates that the benefits of skin-to-skin contact with parents goes beyond simply keeping your infant happy. 

There are so many benefits of skin-on-skin contact, including:

  • Less discomfort and pain
  • Setting up your baby for proper brain development 
  • Preventing hypoglycaemia and other neonatal health issues
  • Stabilising babies who were born preterm

Protecting Your Baby’s Health

Getting the love we all need, especially physically, has been shown to keep infants' blood sugar levels from falling too low. It also inevitably reduces the chance of crying and discomfort when infants undergo blood testing or other medical procedures.

Physical touch can regulate the breathing and heart rates of a preterm baby as well.

Successful Breastfeeding 

The skin-on-skin approach really is the key to breastfeeding more successfully. Skin-on-skin methods help infants who aren't latching or who are having breastfeeding issues. Expressing love and closeness also promotes nursing mums to produce more milk! Sometimes, love really is all you need. 

Feeding and Bonding

A natural process takes place while the newborn is physical contact with their mother. A specific region of the baby's brain is ignited! It encourages the baby to open their eyes and look at their mumma, as well as move to the breast to self-attach and feed.

Not only does it drive your baby to feed and grow, but it also helps emotional and social bonding with the parent!

Keeping baby warm during skin on skin

To have successful skin on skin time, it's important to ensure the room is warmer than usual as both you and baby will be wearing minimal clothing.  For baby, we suggest dressing her in nothing but a nappy.  Reusable nappies are a great way to reduce the amount of waste your household sends to landfill.  For parents, we suggest being undressed from the waist up, allowing baby to lay on your chest.  By having the room at a good temperature, you can ensure baby is comfortable and happy.  You can always place a blanket over baby.

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