• THE SCIENCE BEHIND the Practice of SKIN-TO-SKIN CONTACT
• The Importance of Skin to Skin Contact
• 6 Reasons to Be Skin to Skin with Baby After Birth
• Uninterrupted Skin-to-Skin Contact Immediately After Birth
• The Benefits of Kangaroo Care
• The Evidence for Skin-to-Skin Care after a Cesarean
• A Doula Facilitates Skin-to-Skin in the Operating Room
• Skin-to-skin care with the father after cesarean birth and its effect on newborn crying and prefeeding behavior.
• Fathers and skin-to-skin contact
• Kangaroo Mother Care helps fathers of preterm infants gain confidence in the paternal role.
• Skin to Skin Bonding: As Brothers Attach
• A Father's Commitment to "Kangaroo Care"
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Surgeon General are encouraging newly postpartum people to practice skin-to-skin immediately after birth and throughout the postpartum period. Learn these myths to ensure mom and baby receive all the benefits!
Kangaroo Care (KC) and Skin-to-Skin Contact are two different things.
Not necessarily. KC is the formal practice of Skin-to-Skin Contact where baby is wearing only a diaper, positioned vertically on parent’s chest, allowing for full bare chest to bare chest contact and nerve stimulation. Skin-to-Skin contact is a more colloquial term for the practice, but it can mean various Skin-to-Skin positions (ie: baby breastfeeding in parent's arms, cheek to chest or belly to belly).
Any amount of time spent Skin-to-Skin delivers physiologic benefits.
False. Baby needs to be held for an uninterrupted 60 minutes to elicit a hormonal cascade delivering all the physical benefits KC offers.
Kangaroo Care is only for premature babies.
False. It was initially utilized as a life-saving practice for preterm infants but there are over 160 research studies on the full-term newborn that document the need for and benefits of KC. It is promoted as an “Essential element of newborn care to save and improve all newborn lives” by UNICEF, Save The Children and the World Health Organization.
Skin-to-skin’s only benefit is bonding.
False. Research has shown bonding is one of many benefits that are received by the parent-infant dyad including accelerated brain development, less colic and crying, better eating and sleeping, improved weight gain and a stronger immune system.
Kangaroo Care only works when a biological "mother" provides benefits to baby.
False. KC can be achieved by any human-to-human touch that triggers nerve stimulation on the front of the chest. This includes the other parent(s), grandparents, siblings and adoptive parents.
Skin-to-Skin is only important immediately following birth.
False. Skin-to-Skin is encouraged immediately after birth, throughout the hospital stay, and well after discharge. Families are encouraged to practice Skin-to-Skin for an uninterrupted 60 minutes during the first 12 weeks and beyond. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends Skin-to-Skin be given as long as possible and as frequently as possible during the post partum period.
Kangaroo Care can only be performed in bed.
False. Baby can be held in KC while mom is up on her feet and moving around, so long as they are secure, supported, and in the correct KC position.
Skin-to-skin contact is only for families that plan to/are breastfeeding.
False. All families can practice skin-to-skin, regardless of their choice to breastfeed or not. The benefits received while holding baby in KC occurs independently of breastfeeding. The beneficial hormonal cascade does not occur while breastfeeding.
Swaddling a baby is more conducive to keeping baby warm and calm in comparison to skin-to-skin contact.
False. When a baby is swaddled it cannot interact with his parent, the way nature intended. With skin to skin contact, the parent-infant dyad exchange sensory information that stimulates and elicits “baby” behavior: rooting and searching for the breast, staying calm, breathing more naturally, staying warm, maintaining his body temperature and maintaining his blood sugar. The very best environment for a baby to grow and thrive is the mother’s body.
Kangaroo Care only provides benefits to baby.
False. The postpartum parent receives benefits from Kangaroo Care, too! The same hormonal cascade that is activated in baby’s body, also occurs in the postpartum parent's body delivering benefits that include: faster recovery from vaginal/c-section delivery, increased milk production, reduction of stress hormones and less risk for postpartum depression.