All posts tagged: parenting

Skin-to-Skin Contact with your Baby: Why is it so Important?

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Skin-to-skin contact is one of the most natural and beautiful experiences that you or your partner can share with your baby. It plays an important role in the bonding process, is an integral part of successful breastfeeding and assists your baby in their transition to their new life, both physiologically and emotionally.

The first chance for skin-to skin contact is as soon as you have delivered your baby. Have your baby placed on your bare chest with a blanket placed over the top of you for warmth. This time is often referred to as the ‘Magical Hour’ and is such a precious and important time for the early stages of the bonding process to occur. The touch of your baby releases a hormone called oxytocin, also known as the ‘love hormone’. This enhances the bonding and attachment between you and your beautiful new baby.

Skin-to-skin contact helps to fulfil the need that your baby has instinctively for human contact and gives your baby the security and reassurance that they need, giving them a lovely calm and gentle entry into the outside world. Studies have shown that babies who are held skin-to-skin regularly and who are cuddled and kept close to their mothers in their first few days/months of their life show clearly that they are more settled and cry less than those separated from their mother.

Having your baby skin-to-skin has a powerful effect on your baby’s physical state. It regulates their temperature (babies are born with an immature thermoregulation system so if a baby is struggling with keeping warm in their first few days, skin –to-skin contact has been shown to be more effective at warming a baby than any artificial warmer) it also regulates their breathing, heart rate and it even keeps their blood sugar levels stable. It also strengthens your baby’s immune system because your baby becomes colonized to the bacteria that is on your skin. Your breast milk then produces antibodies in response and makes your milk specifically protective against that bacteria. Pretty clever aye.

Skin-to-skin also plays an important role in successful breastfeeding. At birth, both you and your baby have extremely powerful pheromones that attract you to each other. It also instinctively attracts your baby to your nipple. Babies are born with senses and reflexes that help them to smell, crawl, lick and latch onto the breast to feed…nature is truly amazing when we don’t interfere with it. There is a beautiful video put out by UNICEF that shows exactly this…well worth a watch. Research has even shown that when skin-to-skin contact is used regularly throughout those early weeks, it helps to encourage a very good milk supply.

Skin-to-skin can be practiced not only just after your baby is born but also throughout your baby’s first few months of life. It works very effectively to calm an unsettled baby as it replicates the security they felt from being in the womb. Other lovely ways of giving your baby skin-to-skin is by giving your baby a massage, having a bath with your baby or even wearing your baby using a front pack or sling etc.

Skin-to skin is such a lovely experience to share with your baby and lets not forget the Dad’s too, they can be very much a part of this experience.

I hope all is going well for you and your baby but please feel free to contact me at anytime if you feel you need some further support or advice.

Elysia GobbieSkin-to-Skin Contact with your Baby: Why is it so Important?
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Advice for Mums…Knowledge, Instincts, Keeping things Simple, Common Sense and Trial and Error

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310710137Having a baby and becoming a parent is such an exciting time in your life, full of precious moments that you will treasure forever. It is life changing and probably one of the toughest things that you will ever do though undoubtedly it will be the most rewarding.

You will learn so much about yourself during this journey. You will have a new respect for your own body and what it is capable of. You will experience exhaustion like you’ve never known and will discover an inner strength that you never realised you had. Motherhood is a beautiful and powerful experience but it can be really tough at times and it may not come naturally or easily to some women. Some women have never had anything to do with babies before they have their own, while others have been surrounded by babies all their life. However it does not make you immune to the challenges that some babies bring the more babies you have had either as every baby is different.

At times you are going to feel stressed, exhausted, anxious and confused by this little person and all their needs. The constant changes that you will face can be challenging. You just get a grasp of one stage only for it to change. This can be tough for a first time Mum, as probably up until now you have had quite a bit of control over your own life. Suddenly you have this little person who is totally dependent upon you and this can sometimes feel really overwhelming.

You will be offered a lot of well-intentioned advice from people around you, which can sometimes cause you even more confusion and bewilderment. Listen to people whom you trust and that you know their advice is based on good experience and evidence-based knowledge. Knowledge is power and will not only help you to make informed decisions but it will give you a good understanding of what to expect, setting you up with a healthy mind set and allowing you to relax and really enjoy this precious time. By understanding your baby’s needs, you will feel so much more confident and be prepared for the challenges that you will face along the way.

Babies are much more resilient than you think so are very forgiving with the many mistakes that we make as parents. There is no right or wrong way of doing things, just easier ways and more difficult ways and there is no such thing as a perfect mother and accepting that you can’t be perfect is really important. Every baby is so different so keep things simple, trust your instincts and common sense and with a bit of trial and error you will start to work out what will be best for ‘you and your’ baby. This time will go by so quickly, so look after yourself, love and nurture your baby and try to enjoy this special time in your life.

I hope all is going well for you and your baby but please feel free to contact me at anytime if you have any concerns.

Elysia x

Elysia GobbieAdvice for Mums…Knowledge, Instincts, Keeping things Simple, Common Sense and Trial and Error
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