We hear a lot about the importance of skin to skin around the time of birth, and this is because the cuddling helps to release oxytocin for baby and mum.
Skin to skin – Benefit to baby
There are numerous benefits for the baby, and evidence has been shown from cases in NICU where babies show better temperature regulation, better breathing patterns, less stress, more effective glucose regulation and many more.
Skin to skin – Benefits for Mum
It’s not just all for the baby though, there are also benefits for you as a mum post birth. When you cuddle your baby skin to skin your brain releases beta-endorphin. Beta-endorphin is a pain reducing hormone that helps you respond to your baby. This hormone also reinforces the pleasure in the cuddles, and increases feelings of calmness. It can also reduce stress levels in mums
If you need any more excuses for another cuddle with your newborn there they are. Some studies have shown even smelling that gorgeous newborn smell is enough to evoke positive feelings. We all love that baby smell, and it’s been shown even a whiff of your little baby can send out reward message from the part of the brain responsible for pleasure.
So next time you feel awash with love when you’re cuddling you know you’re not imagining it, your body is tuned in to your baby on a chemical level.
If you’d like to spend more time with your baby learning how to soothe and comfort them try our Baby Massage classes. The release of oxytocin during the skin to skin strokes can help both you and your baby relax. Look at our Booking page for details of classes near you, or we can arrange a private class. Our classes are a great way to meet new people in your area too, it’s friendly and welcoming. Many parents enjoy sharing tips and stories on parenting to help get to know each other.