what does mother-baby skin to skin contact really do?


Aside from warming, what does it do?

In: 27

Actually warm it’s not really a part of it.

In the womb the baby is connected to the mothers circulatory system and nervous system. The baby can taste what she’s tasting that’s why sometimes women will have cravings for things because the baby has a craving. It’s a weird concept but it’s something every mother can understand as the craving comes from some other than themselves.
The baby can also feel what she’s feeling and be affected by her health and nutrition.

Skin on skin contact is a lesser version of that connection the baby feeling their mother’s warmth yes but also feeling and hearing her heartbeat and breathing.

There have been many times documented where the baby is having trouble breathing or their heart rate is just slightly wrong and putting the baby on the mother’s chest right above her lungs and right above her heart they will synchronize. Making the baby’s heart stronger and more regular as well as improving their breathing.

This can also be done with twins. I have a friend who had a sickly twin, they were placed in the same crib together because my friend’s heartbeat and breathing was normal but her sisters was weak and labored. A few hours of them being together cuddled up and her sister’s heartbeat and breathing had corrected itself.

Additionally having the child on her chest releases bring chemicals calming both mother and child so they can kind of synchronize in this way it also creates a pheromone connection. You can see this in the father as well the moment they’re holding the child and the child is holding them there can be this switch turned on where the similar DNA recognize each other and creates that mental Bond of parent to child. Mind you the mother has been feeling that Bond for many months.

For a lot of reasons, mostly comfort and familiarity, skin to skin is calming for mother and baby. A calm and happy baby will eat and sleep better.

Primarily stabilizes heart rate and temperature. But it also aids in the production of the pair-bonding hormone, oxytocin. This is beneficial for the mom because oxytocin is needed for breastfeeding and postpartum healing.

They say men can do this too. So when we were getting close to my son being born, I bought a bunch of shirts that unbutton down the front, and we took turns doing skin-to-skin with him, and then me and my wife did some skin-to-skin. So a couple of years later, we did the same thing with our daughter. .

Harlow did a famous study that related to mother/baby physical contact

[Here’s a super condensed explanation of it and why it’s important](https://youtu.be/RC0L_llyAz4?si=uJR-bn4XQlV4tCP-)

There’s more videos that go further into it but surprise/TW, experiments during this time weren’t super ethical so although experiments like this would never happen today, it laid the groundwork for modern research into developmental psychology