A Touchy Subject

A Touchy Subject

July 22, 2013 9:50 am 11,123 comments

dreamstimelarge_7221019It may sound a little touchy-feely but physical contact is an important part of feeling good and connecting with others. Consider how it feels to hug your little one or to pet your dog. Skin to skin contact, along with the right skin care routine, can help promote feelings of wellbeing and relaxation.

In this article

  • Skin to Skin Does a Body Good
  • Rinse and Repeat
  • The Time is Always Right For Hugging
  • Skin to Skin Does a Body Good

Your baby’s introduction to the world around her is through skin to skin contact—being held, fed, rocked and soothed. These types of close encounters have many positive benefits including better bonding, higher rates of success with breastfeeding, calmer babies who sleep better and reduced incidences of postpartum depression.

The biggest cause of stress for a baby in the beginning is separation from her safe place-Mom. This stress is shown in  increased heart rate, blood pressure and decreased oxygen saturation in the blood. Maintaining early close contact with mom or dad creates a feeling of security in baby and instinctive feelings of protection in Mom. Early skin to skin care sets the tone for healthy development and secure attachment between Mom and baby. Using unscented, naturally derived skin care products [Cheeky Salve]on yourself and your baby during these first few days will help baby to recognize your unique scent when you two are cuddling close together.

Rinse and Repeat

Children who haven’t had enough physical and emotional attention are at higher risk for behavioral, emotional and social problems as they grow up.  Even if you didn’t have immediate early skin to skin time with your baby in the hospital, there are still ample benefits to having lots of skin to skin time with your child of any age. In fact, most children will crave physical contact with you in many types of situations—kisses and hugs after a boo boo, a shyer child staying close to mom in a new situation, a tickle game or cuddling up to read a story together. There’s almost never a bad time to show some affection with your child and help her feel secure and loved. One great way to combine increasing independence with skin to skin time is teaching your toddler how to do certain grooming rituals like washing her hands, hair or brushing her teeth. All of these activities take some time to learn and require a helping hand from you.

The Time is Always Right For Hugging

There’s no denying the evidence that skin to skin contact is important for the physical, emotional and developmental health of your child.  Children at any age, including adults, enjoy and benefit from plenty of physical connection with others, especially those closest to them. There’s almost never a bad time to give someone you love a hug, a cuddle or other sign of physical affection. Using skin care products that support and encourage these bonding moments can enhance these benefits. Opt for ingredients like essential fatty acids and probiotics that promote the health of skin and body.

Sources

Infant Behav Dev. 2008 September; 31(3): 361–373.

Vagal Activity, Early Growth and Emotional Development

Tiffany Field and Miguel Diego

J Perinat Educ. 2007 Summer; 16(3): 39–43.

Care Practice #6: No Separation of Mother and Baby, With Unlimited Opportunities for Breastfeeding

Jeannette Crenshaw, RN, MSN, IBCLC, LCCE, FACCE

Anderson G. C, Moore E, Hepworth J, Bergman N. Early skin-to-skin contact for mothers and their healthy newborn infants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2003;(Issue 2)

Bergman N. J, Linley L. L, Fawcus S. R. Randomized controlled trial of skin-to-skin contact from birth versus conventional incubator for physiological stabilization in 1,200 to 2,199 gram newborns. Acta Paediatrica. 2004;93:779–785.

Bystrova K, Widstrom A. M, Matthiesen A. S, Ransjo-Arvidson A. B, Welles-Nystrom B, Wassberg C. Skin-to-skin contact may reduce negative consequences of “the stress of being born”: A study on temperature in newborn infants subjected to different ward routines in St. Petersburg. Acta Paediatrica. 2003;92(3):320–326. et al.

 

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