One of the best ways to bond with your newborn is also the simplest and sweetest: skin-to-skin contact. Write this one into your birth plan, whether you deliver vaginally or by Cesarean. Snuggling with your freshly born baby – sans clothing or blankets – is the surest way to promote feelings of bonding, comfort and safety. Many family-focused hospitals already put this into practice, but be sure your health care team knows how you feel. No matter the type of birth you have, you want that bundle of joy laid on your chest as soon as possible.
Over the last 30 years, the medical field has widely embraced the practice of skin-to-skin, but there's one group of women who don't always receive this benefit – those who have C-sections. These women already start their new roles as mom at a disadvantage. They have a more difficult post-labor recovery and are at greater risk for infection and complications. Add to this list the fact that breastfeeding can be an uphill battle too and your heart really goes out to C-section mamas. Their milk is slower to come in and getting a good latch with their little ones can be tough. All of this underscores the need for any measure that will make those first weeks easier on both mom and child.
Skin-to-skin contact is as close to a silver bullet as it comes. Moms who can breastfeed or cuddle their babies immediately after birth have greater nursing success – and even have less stressed babies who sleep and feed better.
While skin-to-skin contact is becoming the norm for women who deliver vaginally, those who have C-sections may not receive this benefit. To ensure surgery doesn't stand in the way of you bonding right away with your little one, talk to your doctor or midwife about their practices, Make sure he or she knows how important those first minutes are to you – and ensure you'll have the chance to take in that warm and wiggly bundle of joy.