What Are the Benefits of Skin-to-Skin After a C-Section?
The natural practice of laying a naked infant on the mother’s bare chest after a C-section is as beneficial to the baby as it is to the mom. Experts say skin-to-skin should begin immediately after birth and last for at least one hour. Studies have shown that making sure skin-to-skin time occurs after a birth, even after a C-section, will result in at least four benefits for mom and baby.
- Better breastfeeding: Now that more than one-third of mothers in the U.S. are giving birth via C-section, breastfeeding could suffer if nurses and doctors don’t emphasize the necessity of skin-to-skin bonding. Babies separated from their mother following birth and taken to the nursery are often given formula for their first feeding. Doing away with that practice and ensuring that the baby breastfeeds immediately, has been shown to result in longer and more effective breastfeeding. That initial breastfeeding bonding time gives the baby time to learn how to suckle better. According to one study, newborns who received skin-to-skin care breastfed an average of 64 days longer than those who did not. In addition, the research showed that that initial contact meant the mothers were 50 percent more likely to exclusively breastfeed.
- Happier mom and babe: Want to decrease anxiety? Lay that newborn on mom’s bare chest and see the nervousness dissipate. In addition, babies were 12 times less likely to cry following birth if they were receiving skin-to-skin.
- Less postpartum pain: Just giving the newborn that seemingly simple act of postpartum skin-to-skin means mama will have less breast engorgement and pain.
- Healthier outcome: Not only does it increase the baby’s blood sugar levels, but expect to see a steadier heart rate and oxygen levels thanks to this mom and baby bonding.
With all the benefits of skin-to-skin contact following birth, it makes sense that the World Health Organization recommends the practice regardless of the baby’s weight or gestational age. Dr. Ghozland understands that crucial post-birth window and how traditionally women who underwent C-sections were sometimes prevented from seeing their babies for hours while they recovered. That’s why Dr. Ghozland is a proponent of the “natural cesarean”, a delivery that places the emphasis on that mother-baby bond instead of the surgery.
For more information about Dr. Ghozland’s Natural C-section, contact his office at 310-299-7143 to schedule an appointment.