Great benefits of skin adjacent to the skin after birth

The article was consulted professionally by Specialist I Pham Thi Yen – Obstetrician and Gynecologist – Share99 Hai Phong International Health Hub.

Post-birth skin contact is currently a method applied by experts because of the great benefits for the health as well as the development of the baby. Besides, many parents share that skin contact at birth is the most magical and happy moment in life.

1. What is post-birth skin contact?

The post-birth skin contact method, also known as the Kangaroo method, is performed by placing the shirtless baby on the mother's chest or bare abdomen. There will be no distance between the mother and the baby when the baby's face, chest, abdomen and legs are close to the mother, the baby's head is tilted to one side close to the mother.

This method is ideally performed from 30 minutes to 1 hour immediately after the baby has reached the lap, the umbilical cord circuit is still beating and performing as much repetition as possible in the first week after birth. Besides the skin with mom, dad can also perform skin adjacent to the baby to connect more affection between the father and son.

Under the guidance of the World Health Organization, post-birth skin contact method was started from a new program proposed by the Department of M18 Children's Health of the Ministry of Health under Decision No. 4673/QD –BYT of November 10, 2014. From the fact that the infant mortality rate especially the death rate in the first 3 days is still very high, this program consists of 6 steps as follows:

– Dry warm before performing skin adjacent to the skin

– Intramuscular injection of 10 units of oxytocin

Proceed to clamp and cut the umbilical cord late

– Pull the umbilical cord in control

– Perform rubbing of the bottom of the uterus every 15 minutes within the first 2 hours after calving

Skin adjacent to the skin after birth

Dad can also perform skin adjacent to the baby to connect more affection between the two father and son

2. Why skin adjacent to the skin after birth

"Why skin adjacent to the skin after birth?" will be a question for many parents who are concerned about this method. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), immediately after birth, the baby needs to be exposed to the mother's skin for at least an hour. Called post-birth skin contact with the great benefits it brings. For this reason, she is accustomed to the environment surrounded by her mother's amniotic fluid. The early hours of post-birth must have been a big shock to the baby. At this time, the warm skin of the mother is adjacent to the baby's skin will make it easier to get used to the environment.

Performing skin-to-skin contact is an effective way to connect motherhood and help your baby's reflexes faster when they start breastfeeding. Beyond these divine emotions, there is plenty of evidence to show the great benefits of skin-to-skin contact between mother and child.

3. The great benefits of skin adjacent to the skin after birth

Here are the benefits of skin adjacent to the skin after birth for both mother and baby:

The baby is heated, stabilizes body temperature, heart rate, breathing rate and blood sugar

It is very important to maintain your baby's body temperature. The sudden transition from a warm environment in the uterus to the environment in addition to temperature differences, plus wet skin makes the baby's body very susceptible to cold infections. Instead, the mother's chest is ideally located and much warmer than other areas of the body, the first minutes when contacting the skin adjacent to the baby's skin will be heated. A more important thing will help the baby to reduce the need to produce energy to keep the body warm, the baby sucks earlier, healthier, avoids the psychological apnea; increases saturation of oxygen in the blood; helps to control heart rate.

Babies are less fussy

According to the study, skin contact between mother and baby within 20 minutes helped reduce cortisol levels by 67-72% (which is a stress hormone) in the baby's body. Therefore, for babies who are cared for in this way, there is often less fuss and less stress.

Skin adjacent to the skin after birth

The skin adjacent to the skin after birth helps the baby less fuss and less stress

Babies are optimally developed brain

Post-birth skin contact is an experience that requires the participation of many sensory muscles. Thanks to this way of contact, the baby's body quickly develops nerve transmission paths – which are especially necessary for brain m maturity.

Moreover, skin contact adjacent to the skin also promotes the m maturity of the almond nodes ( an important part located deep in the center of the brain). These ganglia are involved in the process of emotional formation, promoting the ability to remember and activate the sympathetic nervous system. Thanks to this method, sleeping deeper is one of the factors that help the baby develop health comprehensively.

Increases digestive stimulation and helps your baby gain weight

Skin contact with the baby after only 1 hour,the baby's digestive system will quickly be restored to balance. Activates the bronchial nerve, which increases the size of the microillaries in the intestines of the newborn baby. Helps increase the area of the intestinal surface and the ability to absorb nutrients is improved.

Skin contact also reduces cortisol and somatostatin (hocmone-inhibiting hocmone growth) in children, facilitating better absorption and digestion of food and faster weight gain.

Boost Immune system

Skin contact after birth helps the baby to absorb familiar bacteria from the mother's skin. Don't worry, as this is not dangerous because babies have received antibodies against most of these bacteria from an early age in the womb. Next, the mother's body will continue to produce antibodies against bacteria that are in the environment. At this time, through breast milk antibodies are transmitted to the baby, helping to protect the baby from infections.

Babies are breastfed early, milk returns early and more

Performing skin contact adjacent to the skin after birth increases the ability to find the source of milk of the mother. Your baby will catch her breasts more accurately and longer. The study also explained that the proportion of babies breastfeeding will double if they are exposed to skin immediately after birth instead of being wrapped tightly in diapers.

Mothers who practice skin-to-skin contact in the first place often continue to breastfeed more when they get home. The growth of the hormones Oxytocin and Prolactin of the mother in the early hours after birth increases the likelihood of milk production in the long run. Thanks to the practice of skin contact at least 60 minutes at a time, 1-2 times a day, mothers who are having difficulty breastfeeding often get a lot of improvement.

Protect the baby from the harm of separation from the mother

The study found that babies isolated from their mothers had 10 times more crying and 40 times longer crying time than babies who had skin-to-skin contact with their mothers. Severe cries are often bad for babies and can affect lung function, increase in-skull pressure, increase hormones that cause stress and directly affect a child's later emotional development. Therefore, post-birth skin contact is an recommended method to protect the baby from the harms of separating the mother.

Skin benefits after birth for the mother

When placed on the topless of the mother, the baby is very close to the source of breast milk. Babies can see and feel the nipples/areola, which has a great attraction, encouraging the baby to start breastfeeding. Moreover, carrying a child in this way also stimulates the mother's body to release oxytocin. This is known as the "love hormone", oxytocin will help you feel relaxed, less anxious and closer to your child.

Skin adjacent to the skin after birth

The skin adjacent to the skin after birth helps mothers feel relaxed, less anxious and closer to their children

In one study, a comparison was conducted between a group of mothers who had skin-to-skin contact for only about 15-20 minutes with their newborn babies, and the group of mothers who had only seen their babies for a moment before being quarantined. The results of the study showed that, after returning home, first-group mothers were more confident and mature in caring for their children than mothers in the 2nd group. In addition, the study also showed that breastfeeding time doubles thanks to only 15-20 minutes of early skin contact.

Mother and child make more skin contact and the more the baby sucks, the more oxytocin increases secretion. This hormone leads to a series of positive changes for the mother: a faster recovery period after birth; decrease in blood pressure in the body; the mother will be less anxious, limiting depression; milk about a lot; uterus spasms reduce the risk of post-birth bleeding and the mother quickly regains a slender waist before pregnancy.

Skin contact after birth helps overcome all the disadvantages when the baby gives birth to a cesarean section. Cesarean section often leads to some consequences such as mothers starting breastfeeding later, reducing breastfeeding rates altogether and increasing the risk of having to replenish formula.

The skin-to-skin method can also be applied in other situations, for example if you need to calm your baby's fuss or hunger, if the baby is a milking lazy. The father can also help the mother carry the baby to perform skin adjacent to the skin at any convenient time, many dads said they feel closer, closer to the baby when performing this method.

4. The importance of skin-to-skin contact at different times

  • 0 – 90 minutes after birth: Very important for the brain development of the child.
  • 0 – 7 hours after birth: Helps stabilize breathing and heart rate during the recovery period.
  • 7 – 24 hours after birth: Helps babies form a stable breastfeeding schedule and sleep cycle.
  • 12 hours – 8 weeks after birth: Stick more affection for your mother. The closerness between mother and child later cannot compensate for the division at birth.

5. Scientific evidence of the benefits of skin adjacent to the skin after birth

In 2012, according to the results of 34 trials in the US, the rate of fully breastfed babies at 3-6 months was much higher in babies who received post-birth skin contact compared to babies who were not applied in this way.

Benefits for mom:

In the few days after birth, the mother often encounters the phenomenon of a tense and uncomfortable udder. But when the mother does skin contact next to her skin, she will be less likely to suffer breast pain and less anxiety.

Benefits for babies:

Babies feed more on milk.

Skin adjacent to the skin after birth

Babies breastfeed more when exposed to skin adjacent to the skin after birth

Babies who are exposed to skin adjacent to the skin are less crying.

Heart rate, breathing rate and body temperature are more stable.

Blood sugar in the body increases in a beneficial direction.

According to research to date, no hazards associated with skin contact with the skin have been found. More importantly, the researchers found a lot of risks associated with having a mother separated after giving birth. When both mother and baby are healthy and separated after birth, it reduces the chances of breastfeeding successfully and increases the risk of breast cancer and anxiety. The baby's breathing rate, heart rate and blood sugar in the body become unstable.

Thus, the post-birth skin contact method not only brings many great benefits for both mother and baby, but it is also the most sacred and memorable moment in the life of each parent.

Share99 International Health Hub offers a full maternity care program for women from the very beginning of pregnancy from the first months with a full range of pregnancy examinations, 3D ultrasounds, 4D routines and routine tests to ensure the mother is always healthy and the fetus develops comprehensively. Maternity will no longer be alone when entering labor because having a companion helps the process of childbirth always bring peace of mind and happiness.

Dr Pham Thi Yen has 11 years of experience in examination and treatment in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Doctors with strengths and insights in:

  • Examination and consultation of common pregnancies, pathology pregnancies, high-risk pregnancies
  • Examination and treatment of gynecologic diseases: cervical inflammation, cervical glands
  • Laparoscopic surgery of gynecological diseases : extra-uterine pregnancy, uterine tumor , ovarian tumor
  • Surgery for breast tumors, vaginal, cervical tumors
  • Obstetric surgery : pregnancy surgery, examination
  • Treatment of female endormonal disorders of all ages: puberty, reproduction age; pre-menopause.

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About: Minh Quynh

b1ffdb54307529964874ff53a5c5de33?s=90&d=identicon&r=gI am the author of I had been working in Vinmec International General Hospital for over 10 years. I dedicate my passion on every post in this site.


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