Skin to skin and why it’s so important!

August 19th, 2014 by Live Well Omaha Kids

By Saga Taylor

Most of us have heard of skin-to-skin, but a lot of people have no idea how important it really is for you and your baby. When I got pregnant skin-to-skin was the last thing on my mind. My biggest concern was much like every other mom’s: where do I want to deliver, what kind of pain medications do I want to use, who do I want as my baby’s doctor, should I breastfeed or should I not, etc.?

Saga1Now though those things are important, but making sure you get that skin-to-skin and The Sacred Hour with your baby will be one of the most important things you will ever do for you and your baby.

I could give you a ton of facts from the research, but I won’t do that, I am just going to tell you my personal experience.

Well let’s start from the beginning, shall we? My beautiful son Abner was born at 10:09 pm and only seconds after he was born I was holding him skin-to-skin on my chest – that is when I realized how special skin-to-skin really was. Not only was it the first time I saw my beautiful baby, but in that very moment a bond was made that will never be broken! I was able to hold my little man skin-to-skin for a good 20 minutes before having to hand him off in order to take care of some other saga2things.

I had a water birth and I couldn’t get out of the tub while holding Abner, but that didn’t stop him from being able to have skin-to-skin contact because what most people don’t realize is that dad is important too!

This was one of the most important moments for my husband because, while it is important for mom to be skin-to-skin to make that bond, it is also so very important for dad to get that opportunity too! While I was getting out of the tub and doing all those post delivery things that we all just love so much…my husband was able to take his shirt off and get those precious moments of skin-to-skin and build that bond that will never be broken between them.

My first experience with skin-to-skin was great, and I began to learn more and more why it is so very important for many reasons, thanks to all the help from the nurses and lactation consultants as well as with the parent coaches from the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA). I had become part of the VNA program for new young mothers and they were, and still are, such a great help. They have helped me learn so much about howsaga3 important skin-to-skin is, as well as great ways to better take care of our new little guy!

After we had come home I began to spend lots of time skin-to-skin with Abner and it paid off! I have had no problem with breastfeeding and my milk supply was enough to feed triplets! Because of all the skin-to-skin time, I didn’t have to worry about not having enough milk to feed Abner or worry about him not sleeping enough. Because we went through the Midwives, we were able to come home just hours after baby was born and because of that and the amazing amount of time we got skin-to-skin, Abner developed a great sleeping pattern. From day one he has slept all night with long naps and has been able to stay healthy thanks to the great milk supply.

I think another thing that a lot of women worry about is postpartum depression because let’s face it, the idea of being sad and depressed because caring for a new baby is overwhelming.

I worried a lot about that in the days before my delivery but I was so blessed not have any kind of postpartum depression and I honestly believe it was because of the amount of skin-to-skin time I spent with Abner. Any time that I began to become frustrated or sad about anything, all I did was simply take my shirt off and strip Abner down and just lay him on my chest and I immediately felt ten times better!

I think sometimes we forget that dad goes through some emotional stuff after a baby is born, too. We don’t know how to react. This is another great time when skin-to-skin with dad is so very important. Any time my husband seemsaga4ed overwhelmed or frustrated, I would just look at him and say “take your shirt off and hold Abner!” Seems silly, but no matter how upset he was, he would almost instantly cool off and have an overwhelming feeling of joy.

My advice to anyone who is worried about breastfeeding or crazy sleeping patterns or postpartum depression, is to just remember skin-to-skin! No matter how tired you are or how annoyed you are at the fact that baby won’t sleep or doesn’t seem want to latch on or eat right, just take a minute to breathe and have skin-to-skin time with your baby! Abner is now 3 months old and we still do skin-to-skin and our bond is growing stronger every day. He is a healthy little man who sleeps great and is just such a joy.

Skin-to-skin can do so much for you and your family! Honestly, I totally believe if you have other kids let them have some skin-to-skin time with your new addition, because brothers and sisters can never have too strong of a bond with each other! There is nothing better than a family that bonds together!

saga5Now that I have told you my story of skin-to-skin, go make your own!

Saga is a guest blogger of a series of blogs Live Well Omaha Kids is sharing in honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Month. You can read more on the facts about breastfeeding, The Sacred Hour and skin to skin at

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