Most of us know that skin to skin is recommended immediately after birth but sometimes that isn’t possible, with a difficult caesarean or unwell mother or baby. I discovered firsthand the importance of skin to skin from the lovely NICU nurses looking after my newborn son, and the results were transformative. Within two days of starting SSC, he had become responsive and was out of his incubator. It’s important to know that the benefits of SSC doesn’t stop there – we are encouraged to do it as often as possible, for as long as possible.
In this video, I discuss the magic of SSC with midwives Jenny Smith and Miranda Sykes and anaesthetist, Dr John Weissmann. Jenny, who has delivered over 1,000 babies, describes it beautifully as the ‘womb on the outside’.
The wonderful and vital effects of skin to skin include lowered stress levels (cortisol) in mother and baby, better milk production, quicker initiation of breast feeding, temperature, breathing and heartbeat regulation, natural pain relief and transfer of mother’s friendly bacteria providing protection against infection. The additional emotional and psychological benefits cannot be overestimated – babies’ neural development, sense of security and the bonding effect on parents is profound.