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How Skin to Skin Contact Helps Breastfeeding

The first hour after birth is golden! Right after birth mom has highest levesl of oxytocin (known as the “mothering hormone”) which establishes her bonding with baby. This is also the time that a baby’s inborn reflexes are prime to initiate breastfeeding. Putting a baby skin-to-skin with mom, and leaving mom and baby untouched will most often lead to the baby finding his way to the breast and self-latching to breastfeed.

Babies who are placed skin-to-skin with their mother immediately after birth are more likely to latch on well and to exclusively breastfeed longer than babies who are not placed skin-to-skin in the first hour (Newman 2005). Research has also shown that skin-to-skin contact during that golden hour has the following effects on baby (Newman 2005):

  • stabalizes skin temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure
  • less likely to cry
  • have higher blood sugars

 

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