Page 50 - Great Expectations

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50 – Great Expectations
Skin-to-Skin Contact
No one can prepare you for the first time you look into the eyes of your new baby. It is a special experience like no
other. This experience can be enhanced by skin-to-skin contact when you have your unwrapped baby placed tummy-
down on your chest under a blanket.
Safe, snuggly, skin-to-skin contact engages your baby’s senses. He can hear and feel your familiar heartbeat. Those
little arms and legs discover the feel of your skin. This contact also helps regulate your baby’s temperature, heart rate,
respirations and blood sugar. Babies are usually alert and peaceful during skin-to-skin contact. Studies show that
babies held skin-to-skin cry less and fall asleep more quickly.
During skin-to-skin contact, your baby will quietly get to know you. The time you spend together after giving birth gives
you a special opportunity to begin to bond with your baby. You will feel more confident about this new relationship.
But let us not forget about partners or other family members! They can also hold the baby skin-to-skin to help him feel
calm and cozy. Skin-to-skin contact establishes an emotional attachment between parents and their newborns.
Breastfeeding tends to come more naturally when your baby is placed skin-to-skin. A newborn’s sense of smell helps
him find the breast and latch on. Skin-to-skin contact helps babies stay awake during a feeding, and research shows
that they usually breastfeed exclusively for a longer time as well.
Research during the last 30 years has demonstrated the value of skin-to-skin contact for babies and their mothers,
both at the time of birth and in the years ahead.
Molding of the Baby’s Head
Since a baby’s head has been conforming
to the birth canal, their skull may be
distorted and appear oblong in shape.
Do not worry, your newborn baby’s
head will not look like this for long.
The swelling may take a few hours to a
couple days to go away.
Molding of the head
Appearance days later
After Baby’s
Arrival
Some mothers bond when they first see
their baby. Others need a couple of days
to develop that special relationship.
Your baby’s head may look distorted when first born, but do not worry,
it will return to a normal shape in a few days.