Blog by Gill Houghton, Consultant Midwife For Normality, 5th April 2016
The first time you see and touch your baby is something you never forget. After months of preparing and dreaming you finally meet and connect with each other.
In tonight's episode we share the magical moment when Michael holds Maya Lily’s tiny hand in his for the first time.
We also see midwife Emily place baby Ruby Ann on Joanne’s skin soon after birth. Skin to skin contact immediately after the birth is one of the most precious gifts a new mum and dad can give to their new-born baby and this is always encouraged. As well as providing time to get to know each other, this snuggling has very important health benefits.
Research shows that when placed directly onto Mum or Dads chest the baby is soothed by your touch and warmth, a bit like when someone holds your hand or gives you a hug and you feel more relaxed. The sensation of skin on skin is also amazing, you can feel the baby's breaths and sense the heartbeat right next to your own. Your baby also gets to hear your heartbeat, which is a very familiar and reassuring sound to him.
Skin-to-skin contact is proven to regulate a baby’s temperature, blood sugar levels and heart rate. Baby’s who enjoy direct skin contact are also much more alert and cry less, they also start to breastfeed sooner and continue breastfeeding for longer. A further advantage of skin to skin contact immediately is that it is an opportunity for the baby to receive the parents "good bacteria" onto their skin. This may be important in the prevention of infections, allergic diseases and long term health. It's all good.
All mothers to be in Liverpool are provided with information on the benefits of skin to skin contact and instead of dressing their babies soon after birth many now choose to give this gift to their new-borns. Rochalla enjoys skin to skin with Orla Faith immediately after she is born and we see how she is soon searching for her first feed.
A huge thank-you to Craig for showing us how Dads can get involved too, the love flowing between father and daughter is obvious, they literally can't take their eyes off each other, so beautiful.