“Skin to skin” is a special way to hold your baby close right after birth. Your baby’s bare body is against your chest, heart to heart. This helps keep baby warm and calms both baby AND mom. In this calm zone, baby will begin to get used to you and his new world. It also helps your baby get off to a good start with breastfeeding. In fact, skin to skin helps your baby latch on all by himself!
It’s simple. The nurse will help you hold your baby skin to skin right after birth. Just do the following and watch the magic happen.
It’s easy to hold your baby skin to skin. Your champion or the nurse will help you get comfortable, and will place the baby on your chest right after birth.
The nurse may wipe your baby a little once he’s on your chest. This helps keep the baby from getting too cold. Your bare chest will warm your baby best. A blanket across the baby’s back will also help keep cold air from chilling the baby.
Your nurse will stay with you to watch both you and your baby. The room will be kept quiet and peaceful so you and baby can relax. You and your champion can now enjoy this special time together as you welcome baby to your family.
When mom holds baby skin to skin, you have a special role, too. In fact, you can both enjoy this special time together!
As mom’s champion, you are her biggest support. You can help her feel comfortable and confident holding her baby skin to skin. If she’s modest, ask for a small blanket or towel to cover her and the baby. Help her lower her bed so she is leaning back but still able to see the baby.
You can also help with visitors. Tell them that this special skin to skin time with baby will take around an hour. They will have many chances to see the baby after that.
The first hour after your baby’s birth can be a magical time if you and baby stay close. Baby will stop crying and become calm and content when he is near you. If this peaceful time is not disturbed, you and your baby can build a special bond. Baby will even show you some amazing talents. Best of all, it’s a time for all of you to relax and fall in love.
It’s simple! Just hold baby skin to skin for the first hour and let the magic begin. Your baby will use his instincts to follow nine special steps to meet you and adjust to his new world. It’s an awesome journey you won’t want to miss!
In the magical first hour, your baby is quiet and alert and his senses are strong. Baby’s eyes and ears help him know you are his mom, so talk to your baby and let him hear your heartbeat. Touch helps baby calm and relax, so keep him close against your skin. Your baby even knows your special scent, because your chest smells a lot like the fluid he lived in the last 9 months. When baby stays on your chest, he can even use his sense of taste to latch onto your breast all by himself.
Babies need about an hour or more to go through these special steps. Give it time and enjoy the journey. There’s only one “first hour” with your baby!
As mom’s champion, you won’t want to miss the magical first hour. Baby’s nine steps can be easy to miss if you don’t know what to watch for. Learn the steps so you can help mom see each one.
You can help create a soft welcome for the baby in the first hour. Ask about dimming the lights and keeping the room quiet. Bright lights and loud noises bother the baby right at first.
Help the mom feel comfortable holding her baby skin to skin. Place a light blanket over baby’s back if she needs privacy. Adjust her bed so she can see her baby.
You can also help with visitors. Tell them that this magical first hour only happens once! After the first hour or so, there’s a lifetime ahead to share the baby with others.
Being together in the first hour is a special way to feel your baby’s love.
Many mothers say the first hour is magical. When you and your baby gaze at each other the first time, it’s love at first sight! It’s just as special for your baby. Now he knows he can trust the warm and loving person holding him.
Right after birth, babies are bothered by loud noises and lights. When he spends his first hour skin to skin with you, he feels safe. He already knows your scent, your voice, and the soft feel of your touch.
Babies have natural instincts in the first hour. When baby is left on your chest, he can even crawl to your breast and latch on all by himself! This helps breastfeeding go easier later. Your body also gets started making milk right away so your baby grows and gains weight.
The first time you cuddle your baby is a great time for the first feed. When you keep your baby close, skin to skin, baby can actually find your breast and latch on by himself. It’s amazing to feel this close to your baby and to see him satisfied and content. There’s no better way to bond!
It’s easy, because baby can do it himself. Here are some quick tips to help make it work.
Some babies latch on right away. Others take a little more time, especially if they are sleepy after the birth. Taking that time now to get it right will help make sure other feedings go well, too.
Baby’s chest will be right up against your body and he will not have to turn his head to drink. His mouth will be open wide. Baby will take in your nipple and a large part of the dark area around it. You might hear or see him swallow quietly. When he is through, he may fall asleep.
If baby is latched well, breastfeeding should not hurt. If you aren’t sure, ask your nurse to help.
It is hard for mom to see how her baby is latched. As her champion, you can help.
As mom’s champion, learn about breastfeeding while she is pregnant. Go with her to a breastfeeding class to learn why breastfeeding is important. Learn what a good latch looks like, and how baby uses his instincts to latch on by himself in the magical first hour.
Baby’s mouth should be open wide to take in a large part of the breast. Baby’s lips will be turned out like “fish lips.” If the mom has any pain at all, the baby may not be latched well. Ask your nurse for help.
Your happy, satisfied baby at your breast is a great way to feel sure of your role as a new mom.
When baby latches by himself in the first hour after birth, he often does it right. A good latch prevents sore nipples. It helps your baby get plenty of milk, and tells your body to start making more. It also helps you feel sure of yourself and your ability to breastfeed.
Baby’s first feed right after birth helps him learn to suck the right way. This helps him latch well for other feedings, too. When baby latches right, he gets more milk to gain weight well.
Your first milk is called colostrum. It is thick and packed with nutrients to protect your baby from disease. It also acts as a laxative so baby can pass his first thick black stools. The amount is small, but it’s just what baby needs at first.
Right after your baby is born, nothing should stand in the way of your first hello. Once baby is near you, he will stop crying and become calm and content. This is your golden chance to bond and help baby feel safe in this scary new world. Other things, like weighing and bathing the baby, can wait.
Your body is amazing! You have everything you need to keep your baby safe and warm. It works best when we wait until after baby’s first feeding to do certain tests, weigh the baby, and even give his first bath.
While your baby is skin to skin, your body naturally keeps your baby safe and warm. Best of all, your baby is so smart he even knows who you are right away! He knows your heart beat, your voice, and your scent. When he’s skin to skin with you, he becomes calm and content. This helps him adjust to his new world more easily.
Baby stays calm when we wait a while for tests and bathing. A “do not disturb” policy until after the first feeding helps you and your baby relax and bond.
Talk with your doctor about keeping your baby skin to skin and delaying routine procedures. Bring it up while you are pregnant, and remind the staff when you get to the hospital.
As mom’s champion, you are her biggest support. You can help her talk with her doctor and nurse about her needs.
Right after the birth, mom may not feel well enough to tell the staff what she wants. As her champion, you can help! Talk with the staff before the birth to be sure they know you want to delay routine procedures. After the birth, remind them in case things get busy.
Sometimes things don’t go the way you planned. If certain procedures cannot be delayed, ask if they can be done while the baby is skin to skin with mom. If the baby cannot be with mom right away, skin to skin can begin when the baby returns to her. Remind her she is a great mom and will have special time with baby later.
When you delay routine procedures, you and your baby have time to form a bond of love.
Just enjoy this special first hour with your baby. Baby will cope with procedures better when he can spend time with you first.
When babies stay calm for a while, they use their energy to adjust to their world. They also use their energy to learn how to breastfeed well.
After the first hour, your amazing body can continue to keep baby calm. Ask if you can hold your baby skin to skin after baby’s first bath to warm him. When painful procedures such as drawing blood are needed, ask if it can be done while you hold your baby skin to skin. This will help him feel less pain.
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