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skin to skin


It’s not just newborns who benefit from skin-to-skin cuddling — moms do, too, researchers in Nova Scotia have found.

In skin-to-skin contact, the mother sits and holds her baby, who is wearing just a diaper, on her bare chest, facing toward her for hours at a time.

When researchers at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia tracked 100 mothers and babies over four years, they found mothers who used skin-to-skin contact reported breastfeeding for a longer period, less postpartum depression, and a closer relationship with their babies compared with mothers who did not use the method.

The snuggled babies in turn were more alert, the team found.

Previous studies have shown that skin-to-skin contact is good for babies, especially premature babies, because the close contact replicates conditions in the womb.

For the mother, the close contact stimulates the hormone oxytocin, which helps to promote maternal feelings, said Ann Bigelow, who teaches psychology at the university and was one of the lead researchers.

"Because the baby is being held so close to the mother, the mother learns the baby’s signals," Bigelow said. "So the mother is aware when the baby is about to wake up or when the baby is hungry. She gets to know her baby sooner."

Enhancing Baby’s First Relationship: A Parents’ Guide for Skin-to-Skin Contact with Their Infants gives a general overview of the findings (length 20 minutes).Enhancing Baby’s First Relationship: Results from a Study on Mother-Infant Skin-to-Skin Contact presents the findings in more detail (length 28 minutes).

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Come join us next Tuesday, July 20th at 5:30

at Partners 

to learn about breastfeeding and baby care and the

amazing benefits of Skin to Skin!


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