Health Related Reasons to Hold Your Baby

Welcoming a newborn into the family is equally rewarding and demanding. What drives moms and dads to wake up multiple times a night and rearrange their entire lives to revolve around a crying, messy baby? It is the indescribable love that blossoms when you hold your baby.

As much as it seems like an obvious part of raising a baby, these tender touches also do a lot of heavy lifting on a psychological level.

Reduces baby stress

Kangaroo grooming is a popular way of making skin-to-skin contact, especially with premature babies. The method involves placing the baby in nothing but a diaper against a parent’s bare chest for at least an hour, and a blanket or similar layer of cocoons for both the parent and baby. Experts recommend practicing this method regularly for the first three months.

Kangaroo care improves oxygen saturation levels and other markers that make for a less stressed baby. A baby who nurses kangaroo can often leave the hospital sooner and is less likely to be re-admitted than a baby who didn’t receive this attention.

Newborn sleeping wrapped in a red blanket against mom's body molka / Getty Images

Reduces parental stress

When the birth parent holds their baby right after delivery, the brain releases beta-endorphins. This hormone is no different than a pain reliever, and it also makes the parent feel relaxed.

In addition, holding a baby serves as an excellent mindfulness practice. It is a sensory experience involving touch, smell, sight and sound. Whether a baby is awake and happy or asleep, to enjoy this one details is gratifying and grounding. The deep breathing that parents can do in these moments is restorative and energizes them for the day-to-day challenges of caring for a newborn. Holding a crying baby close to you while breathing calmly also calms the baby.

Mother hugs newborn baby after delivery Fly View Productions / Getty Images

Facilitates early bonding

After birth, the brain releases a boost of the hormone oxytocin. This hormone is the natural way to promote the bond between parent and child, and it also paves the way for breastfeeding or breastfeeding. The baby also produces oxytocin – it improves well-being and is known as the ‘cuddle substance’. If a baby is born by Caesarean section, this bonding time is crucial. Even non-birth parents experience an increase in oxytocin in their baby.

In addition to simply holding the newborn, research shows that tnfant massage can also Reduce postpartum depression with birth parents.

Mother looking for her newborn child Thanasis Zovoilis / Getty Images

Boosts the baby’s immune system

It is a good idea to have skin-to-skin contact as soon as a baby is born. When babies go through the birth canal, beneficial bacteria attach themselves to their bodies. Exposing the child to these bacteria for longer is a blessing to their immune systemprotection against infection and the risk of neonatal sepsis.

After this first contact, the baby can be cleaned.

newborn with mother in hospital Image created by Mayte Torres / Getty Images

Makes the baby comfortable

Holding a baby makes them feel warm, preventing both hypothermia and hyperthermia. Baby massage, mentioned briefly above, is another fantastic resource in the health care provider’s toolkit. It

  • Gives the baby a sense of belonging and security
  • Promotes a sense of comfort for the baby, and the baby gets used to its environment
  • Makes baby sleepy and improves sleep pattern
Father holds newborn son in nursery monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

Reduces baby pain

Like all humans, newborn babies feel pain. When parents lie down of their babyhigh childhood heart rates associated with pain relief, as well as stabilizing blood pressure and blood glucose.

The oxytocin produced reduces inflammation and encourages healing. Research shows that babies feel less pain when they can hold their caregivers’ fingers or when their parents provide tactile relief in the form of back and head movements and light pressure.

Mother holding hands newborn baby x-reflexnaja / Getty Images

Stimulates breastfeeding

Research shows that direct skin-to-skin contact after birth leads to faster first feedings. The World Health Organization recommends reserving as much as possible the first hour after birth for skin-to-skin, as being held calms babies to a point where their latching instincts kick in. Skin-to-skin contact can also increase milk supply.

Newborn baby boy sucks milk from mother's breast Anastasiia Stiahailo / Getty Images

Helps premature babies adapt

Premature babies have trouble regulating their temperature, and kangaroo care can help them much like an incubator. The physical contact shortens the stay in the NICU, promotes growth and improves neurological development.

When a parent hugs their preemie baby, it promotes weight gain. And baby massage helps premature babies with their digestion and bowel movements.

Newborn baby being held by mother Jill Lehmann Photography / Getty Images

Reduces crying

Skin-to-skin time shortly after birth regulates the baby’s breathing and limits crying. There is also evidence that babies are held during… minimal invasive procedures cry less than those who stay in their cribs during the same procedures.

In general, affection and touch can make babies less fussy and set the tone for a lifetime of nurturing.

A newborn baby in his father's arms Catherine Delahaye / Getty Images

Builds trust with parents

By picking up a baby when they are upset, hugging them when they are alert, planting kisses on their face while feeding or massaging them, parents apply skill after skill and learn what works best for their baby . They become more confident and capable with time and practice, and survival becomes thriving.

Couple cradles newborn baby LWA/Dann Tardif/Getty Images
Coffee, Keyboard and music.. Best Companion for quality writing. Aditya Pratap is undergrad fellow and looking for best stuffs in Technology, Politics and Startups.