Nursing and Skin to Skin: A Perfect Pairing

Nursing and Skin to Skin: A Perfect Pairing

June 6, 2013 9:13 pm 3,238 comments

Skin to SkinBreastfeeding your baby? Nursing and nestling with your little one is a perfect pairing as long as you make sure your skin care during this special time is safe for both of you. The more you have skin to skin time together, in conjunction with safe skin care, the better off you both are.

In this article…

  • Nursing and Nestling
  • Skin to Skin Snuggling Helps Baby Feed Better
  • Special Skin Care Considerations

Research has shown that babies who have an opportunity to have skin to skin time with their mothers shortly after birth are more likely to latch on, eat better and sleep longer. There are benefits for moms too, including less soreness, more oxytocin and better bonding time together. Safe skin care can enhance this special time together.

Nursing and Nestling

The first hour after birth is often referred to as the “Magical Hour.” Babies placed on their mother’s chests right after being born show nine distinct stages of bonding including relaxation, and rooting to suckle. Studies have shown that this amazing early bonding is positively correlated to babies who breastfeed more easily and often. The close physical contact will also help mom produce more of the feel good hormone oxytocin which enables milk production.

Using skin care products with ingredients that promote the health of skin and body like essential fatty acids and probiotics on you and your baby during these early moments can support and encourage this symbiotic relationship.

Skin to Skin Snuggling Helps Baby Feed Better

If you hope to breastfeed your baby, it just makes good sense to aim for as much skin to skin time as possible. Babies who have ample early skin to skin snuggle time have been shown to be more likely to latch on well. A good latch is key to successful breastfeeding for several reasons: babies who latch well are more successful at getting the amount of milk they want and they are also less likely to create soreness for mom. The more uncomfortable mom is, the less likely she is to want to continue nursing. Moms who have baby close to them for skin to skin time also tend to recognize the signs of hunger and fullness more quickly in their babies. Even if you do not breastfeed your child, having lots of skin to skin time can still be a boon in recognizing your baby’s cues for hunger and satiety.

Special Skin Care Considerations

Breastfeeding moms tend to be dehydrated and have drier than usual skin. Not only is it important to increase the amount of water you drink every day, but there are also some ingredients you should avoid in your cleansers and moisturizers because they can irritate sensitive baby skin. Anything petroleum-based should be avoided which includes ingredient names like propylene glycol, mineral oil, paraffin, petrolatum and isopropyl alcohol. Many common skin-care preservatives like formaldehyde can cause serious allergic reactions in breastfeeding babies. Parabens, salicyclic acids and retinoids are designed to be absorbed into the skin and may end up in trace amounts in breast milk so should also be avoided. The safest skin care for skin to skin time and nursing moms are products that are safe if ingested by baby, unscented and designed to enhance skin immunity for maximum relief, prevention and healing. [Cheeky Salve]

Sources

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Effect of early skin-to-skin contact after delivery on duration of breastfeeding: a prospective cohort study.

Mikiel-Kostyra K, Mazur J, Bołtruszko I.

J Coll Physicians Surg Pak. 2011 Oct;21(10):601-5. doi: 10.2011/JCPSP.601605.

Effect of mother-infant early skin-to-skin contact on breastfeeding status: a randomized controlled trial.

Mahmood I, Jamal M, Khan N.

Ann Trop Paediatr. 2010;30(2):119-28. doi: 10.1179/146532810X12703902516121.

Analgesic effects of skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding in procedural pain in healthy term neonates.

Okan F, Ozdil A, Bulbul A, Yapici Z, Nuhoglu A.

Midwifery. 2005 Mar;21(1):71-9.

A randomised controlled trial in the north of England examining the effects of skin-to-skin care on breast feeding.

Carfoot S, Williamson P, Dickson R.

Neonatology. 2012;102(2):114-9. doi: 10.1159/000337839. Epub 2012 Jun 14.

Early skin-to-skin contact and breast-feeding behavior in term neonates: a randomized controlled trial.

Thukral A, Sankar MJ, Agarwal R, Gupta N, Deorari AK, Paul VK.

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