Following are my top three reasons for Mom and Baby to choose to incorporate skin to skin into your birth plan.
My top three benefits for Mom --
1) It stimulates your oxytocin production. Oxytocin, otherwise known as "the love hormone", just happens to be my favorite hormone. It increases a feeling of love, well-being and relaxation in you. It creates a natural mothering instinct and promotes relaxation. This also helps reduce your risk of postpartum depression.
2) It boosts your prolactin production. Prolactin is the hormone that helps stimulate milk production. Even at home, if you find yourself having trouble producing enough breast milk – give Kangaroo Care a try. Tuck your baby in your shirt, take a bath with baby, or just lie in bed next to your baby skin to skin. This has been proven to boost breast milk production.
3) Immediately after having your baby can be a fragile time. A rush of hormones flood through your body, you might be overwhelmed and there’s a chance that you could be experiencing postpartum bleeding. Kangaroo Care helps to lower your blood pressure and reduce your level of stress by lowering your cortisol levels. It will also stimulate your endorphin levels which are our bodies natural pain-killers reducing your pain postpartum. These high endorphin levels also help you feel alert and attentive to your baby.
My top three benefits for baby --
1) Kangaroo Care regulates baby’s body temperature. Maintaining body temperature is one of the most common challenges for new or premature babies. When baby is placed bare skin against your bare skin mom’s body will either warm up or cool down depending on what baby needs. That’s right – if baby’s temp is too low your skin will adjust to warm them. If their temp is too high your skin will adjust to cool them down. Pretty neat, huh?!
2) Babies who are held skin to skin experience less crying and stress. Just as kangaroo care helps lower mom’s cortisol levels, it helps lower baby’s cortisol levels. And just as it helps raise mom’s oxytocin level, it does the same to baby’s. This results in lowered pain levels, a baby who is less agitated, and one who cries less.
3) During Kangaroo Care baby sleeps better. Studies show that when babies are cradled skin to skin they have a deeper sleep and wake less often. All of which is a plus during those tiring times with a newborn!
References -- http://nuroobaby.com/skin-to-skin/