Connecting with Baby through Skin to Skin 

mother holding baby close to chest

Following the birth of a child, many new experiences occur when a mother meets her child for the first time and welcomes the newborn into the world. While it may seem chaotic during this time, Bright Start nurses advocate for skin-to-skin contact whenever possible, including immediately following delivery and as much thereafter as possible.   

Carol Phillips, RN, Bright Start nurse home visitor for the South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care (SDFMC) says,

“With my history of working in labor and delivery I have seen the baby’s overall condition improve by being placed skin to skin on the mother’s chest. Babies are more awake and alert thereby increasing the emotional connection with mother. This reassures the infant that he or she is safe.”   

Skin-to-skin contact is a common practice and using this method is a start to a healthy emotional attachment. Furthermore, this direct contact helps to regulate breathing and the heart rate of the newborn. The mother’s chest acts as a natural way to warm the baby and provides what the womb once did, reducing infant stress.  

The results speak for themselves when it comes to skin-to-skin contact with lower rates of hypoglycemia and hypothermia, which lowers costs of healthcare. Additionally, there is an increase in the success of breastfeeding. It also stimulates a specific part of the newborn’s brain which encourages emotional and social development.   

As a Bright Start nurse, Phillips strives to educate clients about skin to skin and hopes to help mothers and fathers become more aware of the benefits through daily practice with their infants.  

To learn more about Bright Start visit their website.