Since time immemorial, skin-to-skin contact has been used to gently introduce newborns to the outside world. It’s a reassuring transition for the baby as well as for the parents.
As its name suggests, skin-to-skin contact means holding your baby against you in direct contact with your skin, without clothing. This means a baby is snuggled against the bare chest or stomach of their mum or dad. This special time together has multiple benefits for both premature babies or full-term babies as well as parents.
When circumstances permit it, the newborn should be placed on their mother’s breast as soon as they are born. When this isn’t possible, such as in the case of caesarian births, it’s often up to the dad to take over. “This first skin-to-skin contact is a moment of calm after the storm of giving birth. We return to our basic instincts, far from all the medical side of things. We don’t ask ourselves whether the baby is too hot or too cold. When our baby is against us, they’re at the ideal temperature and everything is great,” says Alexandre, father of three children who were born by caesarian section. This is also why the dad is often advised to wear a shirt on the day of birth, as it’s easier to unbutton and rebutton, not to mention the emotional side this shirt will have, as it was the garment worn during their first contact with their child.
Then, once mum’s available again, skin-to-skin contact can take place in the recovery room, a moment that is always “magic!” Especially after a caesarian and 4 and a half hours before being able to hold my baby in my arms,” says @chloldt.
The initial skin-to-skin contact can continue during your child’s first few weeks and even months. @soamat_ says “We did a lot of skin-to-skin contact the first week after my home birth. It was soft and gentle and enabled us to establish continuity with pregnancy. I think it soothed my baby a lot as well as helping with my transition to motherhood as well as my lactation. It was a magic bubble, and I have very fond memories of it.”
So, as you can see, skin-to-skin contact is magic. It promotes the well-being of both child and parents. Let’s go over its many benefits:
Inspired by marsupials whose babies finish their growth when inside their mother’s pouch, the kangaroo method is often used by neonatal services when the baby’s condition permits it. This method is also recommended by the WHO. “As a maternity nurse, I can say that skin-to-skin contact is the ultimate soother! Whether the baby does it with their father or their mother,” confirms Godeliève alias @godebq.
Skin-to-skin contact in premature babies shows the same benefits, such as temperature regulation, increase in weight, improvement in digestion, restful sleep, reduction of stress and strengthening of the parent-child bond.
And it’s the same on the parents’ side. Skin-to-skin contact for premature babies is amazing. “Victoire was born at 7 months, so I kept him for 2 months using skin-to-skin contact in the neonatal services at Annecy,” says Julie alias @Mamasavoy
Since 2016, we’ve been proud to be a partner of the neonatal resuscitation service at Necker Hospital in Paris with our Easy Lover skin-to-skin slings :-)
We came up with our Easy Lover sling to help with skin-to-skin contact. It was specially designed for this intimate moment, and really helps the baby and their parents. Thanks to its Velcro fastening, skin-to-skin care is gentle and safe. You just have to sit down or lie down and use it to enjoy this quality time with your baby and feel them calm down as they are held against you.
If you want to try Studio Romeo style skin-to-skin contact, we advise you to fasten the sling with the Velcro at the back. Then place your child in a vertical position against your chest. Slide the baby into the sling. Make sure you position them naturally with their head on the left or right side so they can breathe properly. Their shoulders should be flat against you and their neck should be in line with their spine. Newborns must lie in a natural foetal position with their spine slightly curved. Babies in their first few months should be in a W-shaped frog position (hips and arms folded with their legs spread) with their back slightly curved.
Click here to see how to use the Easy Lover skin-to-skin sling
If you want to tell us about your skin-to-skin experiences, you can find us on Instagram!