Updated: Nov 22, 2021
Hillary from the Baby Settler, a masters level Obstetrics and Lactation RN, filled us in about her thoughts on skin to skin. Check it out below!
You’ve likely heard how important skin-to-skin contact is for your newborn baby. And for good reason! As a delivery nurse, I’ve seen over and over again the pure magic that happens when a baby is placed on their Mama for the first time.
Here are just some of benefits of skin-to-skin contact:
Calms and relaxes both mother and baby (who doesn’t love that)
Helps regulate your baby’s temperature (works with Dad too!)
Stimulates the release of vital hormones to support breastfeeding
Helps provide protection against infection
Regulates the baby’s heart rate and breathing, helping them to better adapt to life outside the womb (it’s a whole new world out here!)
It’s also good to know that skin-to-skin contact isn’t just important following birth, but continues to be a vital part of your baby’s brain development and function to 12 weeks and beyond.
Sounds easy, right? I usually see parents have little doubt about the importance of skin-to-skin contact once they learn the value of it, but it’s the huge changes and rush of having a newborn at home which leads people to just forget. If you’ve had a child (or 3 like me), you know how easy it is to get overwhelmed trying to remember every little thing you’re “supposed” to do while adjusting to having a new little one in your life.
Okay, and not to mention all the cute outfits you have for your baby! Of course you want to wrap them up in their most adorable one and have them wear it all day (and to send a photo to your group texts to get those “oohs” and “ahhs” and heart emojis). But with a standard footie and all the newness that comes with those first days with your baby, it can be so easy to begin missing this simple, vital part of your baby’s growth and development (Psst: which is why I’m a huge fan of the Bonsie footie).
One of the simplest ways to prepare for the newborn phase of motherhood is by having a postpartum plan- and to build intentional time for skin-to-skin contact into your daily routine as part of that plan. (hint: you’ll get access to it at the end of this post!)
These are a few examples of when to get skin-to-skin time in:
(Remember: this is also for Dad, too)
Right when you wake up
During your morning coffee
When you get out of the shower
At the same time each day (hint: set an alarm!)
Right before your baby’s afternoon nap
After you check the mail
As soon as you finish eating dinner
At night when you’re winding down with a couple of episodes of your favorite show or catching up with your partner
Any daily reminder will do, just find something that works for you (and encourage your partner to do the same!). As long as you stay consistent, you’ll get plenty of bonding time with your little one without it feeling like you’re adding it to a long list of other things you’re supposed to “remember”. Keep it simple and don’t forget to enjoy it. They don’t stay little for long.
As a mama of 3 and Registered Nurse, I’m passionate about helping expecting parents have a postpartum plan (including tips like this!) that helps moms be more present with their newborns. In my ‘Babies’ course launching September 1st, I go into much greater detail about the benefits of skin-to-skin contact and other essential information for the postpartum period. I’ll help you be able to figure out why your baby’s crying, give you tools to establish a schedule, and get your baby sleeping through the night (I also have two other courses coming: one on Birth and the other on Breastfeeding. No matter where you’re at in your parenting journey, I want to help!).
You can get my “7 Steps for a Successful Postpartum Plan” template today for FREE to know you’re going into this season prepared. Snag it here!
Bottom line: you shouldn’t have to try to fit into someone else's mold of parenting, you deserve to always feel confident in your own. That’s why the information I provide will always make you empowered to find what works just right for you and your baby.
Hillary Sadler is the founder of Baby Settler, a Masters level Registered Nurse with a specialty certification in Obstetrics and Lactation, and a mom of 3. She helps parents with birth, babies, and breastfeeding through scheduled consultations and online courses.
Link to “7 Steps for a Successful Postpartum Plan” - https://view.flodesk.com/pages/5f28da3531568a00263a0e87