From Womb To World: Why Skin-to-Skin Contact Is Crucial

From Womb To World: Why Skin-to-Skin Contact Is Crucial

The welcome which a baby receives as she comes out of the womb and into the world has a lasting and profound impact on her overall health and well-being. 

The first hour is a crucial hour for the newborn as she is ejected from the comfort cocoon that was the womb into the cold and sterile hospital surroundings. Skin-to-skin contact with the mother at this stage helps to calm the baby. 

What exactly is skin-to-skin contact?

Skin-to-skin care, or “Kangaroo Care,” means placing the dried and unclothed baby on her mother’s bare chest with a light blanket covering the baby’s body. Routine check-up of the mother and the baby can be conducted during this period, or it can be postponed till later. 

Benefits of skin-to-skin contact:

  • Several research studies have conclusively shown that babies who are given skin-to-skin contact immediately post birth show better physiological stability. Human touch helps stabilize the newborn’s respiration, increases glucose levels, gives warmth and regulates blood pressure. 
  • An infant separated from the mother or the ‘host,’ experiences physiological and psychological withdrawal, in addition to the anxiety of being removed from a stable and warm environment. At this stage, skin-to-skin contact established with the mother goes a long way in soothing the baby. The reassuring contact eases the separation process as the child is released from the umbilical cord and graduates from being ‘one’ organism with the mother to ‘another’.
  • Oxytocin, or the ‘love hormone’ released during skin-to-skin contact helps mother and child bond better. Mothers who have cradled their newborn post birth are more likely to feel confident in their parenting abilities. Lack of skin-to-skin bonding and early separation of mother and baby may delay crucial maternal-infant bonding and may even negatively impact the mother’s response to her baby. 
  • Another very powerful and positive impact of establishing skin-to-skin contact after birth is that it facilitates breastfeeding. Mammals are born with the instinctive urge to breastfeed. When placed against the mother as soon as they are born they are able to find the breast and self-attach. Research shows that women who had skin-to-skin contact with their naked babies right after birth breastfeed longer and typically breastfeed months longer than mothers who did not get a chance to establish this contact. 

Undoubtedly, the benefits of mother and baby skin-to-skin contact are manifold and far-reaching. Perhaps it is time to consider introducing this age-old tradition back in the modern delivery process. Hospitals and clinics must actively make use of this ‘golden hour’ or the first sixty minutes immediately post birth. Skin-to-skin contact should be established immediately after birth and should last for at least sixty minutes. This is a no-cost initiative which positively affects maternal and child outcomes. 

Skin-to-skin bonding is a natural process which, over the years somehow de-linked from the clinical birthing process. Now is the time to actively introduce it back in the delivery and childbirth process.

Skin-to-skin contact is not yet very common in India. Now is the time to lobby to bring it into the mainstream! Did you get to have skin-to-skin contact with your baby right after delivery? Share your delivery story with us at and be featured on our website!



Team Together
30 May 2017

एक गर्भवती माँ की अस्पताल बैग: क्यों? कब? कैसे?

एक गर्भवती माँ की अस्पताल बैग: क्यों? कब? कैसे?

एक गर्भवती माँ के लिए अपना अस्पताल का बैग पैक करना आवश्यक ही नही बल्की एक भावनात्मक लगाव है। हर माँ अपने बच्चे के लिए सबसे बेहतरीन चीज़ें देना चाहती है और इसका प्रभाव सबसे ज्यादा अस्पताल बैग में देखा जाता है।पर ऐसा अक्सर देखा गया है कि उसमें से आधी चीज़ें भी उपयोग में नही आती। इससे भी बड़ी चुनौती ये है कि भारतीय संस्कृति में बच्चे के जन्म से पहले उसके लिए किसी भी प्रकार की खरीदारी नही करते। इसीलिए हम अपना ध्यान केंद्रित करेंगे माँ के बैग पर।

  • क्यों चाहिए एक माँ को ये अस्पताल की बैग : आज कल हर अस्पताल में सब कुछ मिलता है पर हर औरत के लिए उनकी व्यक्तिगत चीज़ें ज़्यादा महत्वपूर्ण होती है। जैसे की कपड़े, चप्पलें, तौलिया इत्यादि। ये चीज़ो से एक औरत खुश महसूस करती है
  • ये बैग कब पैक करे? नौंवा महीना शुरू होते ही बैग भर के तैयार रखनी चाहिए, इससे ये होगा कि अगर अचानक डिलीवरी के लिए जाना पड़ा तो ये ना सोचना पड़े कि क्या क्या ले कर जाए। इतनी जल्दी पैक करना का फायदा ये भी होगा कि आपके पास बहुत समय रहेगा कि आप बैग को खोल कर वापस से अपनी आवश्यकता के हिसाब से वापस से पैक कर पाएंगी।  इसी बात पर एक और सवाल ये उठता है कि आप ब्रेस्टफीडिंग(स्तनपान) संबंधित कपड़े कब ख़रीदे। डॉक्टरों का कहना है कि सातवें महीने में एक गर्भवती महिला का शरीर जैसा होता है, डिलीवरी के बाद वैसा लगता हैं। इसीलिए सातवें महीने में लिए हुए कपड़े की फिटिंग सर्वोत्तम होती है।
  • पैक कैसे करें:  डिलीवरी के बाद २-३ दिन तक एक माँ दौड़ भाग नही कर सकती और ऐसे में किसी को समझना बहुत कठिन हो जाता है कि कौन सी चीज कहाँ रखी नही है। इसीलिए जब आप अपना बैग पैक करे तो परिवार के किसी सदस्य को समझा दीजिये कि कौन सा समान कहाँ रखा है। या तो फिर किसी और से पैकिंग करवाइये तो उन्हें ध्यान रहेगा कि उन्होंने समान कहाँ रखा है।

क्या आपने अपना बैग पैक किया था? आपने क्या और कैसे पैक किया था?

Team Together
04 Jan 2019

Dad In The Delivery Room: Yes or No?

Dad In The Delivery Room: Yes or No?

Dad in the delivery room: Yes or No?

Being by her side could mean the world to her!

The support a woman receives during labour and childbirth shapes her lasting perceptions of the experience.

A generation ago, in India, the idea of anyone from the family being present in the labour room was unheard of, and certainly not encouraged. However, with growing awareness and better facilities coming into play, many care facilities located in urban areas are open to the idea of partner-assisted delivery, i.e. allowing fathers in the delivery room. Some doctors even encourage fathers to cut the umbilical cord after birth. If you want to be present at your child’s birth, here’s what a father in the delivery room should expect:

Top 5 tips for dads planning to be present in the delivery room:

Firstly, if you are squeamish at the thought, perhaps being in the labour room is not for you! However, remember that childbirth is a beautiful process of bringing a child, your child, into the world, and having you by her side could mean the world to your partner who is giving birth through a lot of pain. Consider a few things before choosing whether you would like to be present during delivery.

1. If the sight of blood troubles you, don’t hesitate to express this concern to the doctor on call. Indeed, this is the stuff of many funny moments or videos of dads in the delivery room. In such cases, ask if your partner’s close family member could be with her instead.

2. Some doctors still hold traditional views about the presence of the father in the delivery room, and perhaps with good reason. Improper hygiene in the room can lead to
infections for both the mother and child
If you do decide to be in the room, comply with the house regulations and wear any and all protective gear provided to you.

3. A woman having a vaginal birth is likely in a lot of pain. Having your calm presence by her side is a show of strength and support for what she is going through. Don’t panic- the doctors know what they are doing.

4. If at any point in time, the doctors ask you to leave the room due to a complication or procedure, don’t argue with them. Step out of the room and ask a senior administrator to update you on what is going on.

5. If you or your partner have concerns about how you may perceive your intimacy after witnessing your partner give birth, discuss this with her and the doctor before choosing to be there. While it is advisable, even desirable, that the dad be present during childbirth, it shouldn’t become a problem between the two of you at a later time.

If you haven’t considered being present in the labour room before, now is as good a time as any! Think through all the consequences of this choice. It is a great source of support for your partner, and we bet you will never witness anything as beautiful as childbirth!Did you find this article helpful? If you’re a mom-to-be, will you share this with your partner? If you’re a mom, was your partner present at the birth of your child? Share your experience with us at and be featured on our website!

Dignity During Delivery: A Woman’s Right To Privacy In Childbirth

Dignity During Delivery: A Woman’s Right To Privacy In Childbirth

Like all other mammals, even human females when giving birth need a sense of security.

From that first pregnancy test to the first contraction, pregnancy and especially delivery are extremely personal and overwhelming experiences for a woman. It is imperative that she be accorded privacy during the intimate process of her baby’s delivery. At each step of the journey, care must be taken that she does not feel violated or uncomfortable in any which way.

Especially during a normal delivery, or vaginal delivery, a private bubble or cocoon created around the birthing mother goes a long way in giving her a sense of protection and comfort. When labour pain starts, intrusions should be minimised, unwanted members should be restricted, and her modesty should not be compromised under any circumstances.

During delivery it is essential that the mother-to-be feels relaxed and comfortable and does not experience anxiety due to her surroundings. If she is stressing due to lack of privacy or unwanted people at her labour it will increase stress hormones. This in turn will inhibit oxytocin production and will eventually slow down labour.

Here’s what hospitals and care institutions can do to ensure privacy for a woman in labour:

  • Examinations and procedures should either happen in closed chambers, or behind curtains.
  • Glass cubicles or panes if any should be frosted.
  • If the mother-to-be is giving birth in an open ward, curtains should be drawn around her.

Privacy and perceptions during labour and delivery:

Though these physical measures to ensure privacy are mostly taken, the concept and extent of personal space or “privacy” can vary from woman to woman.

Generally speaking, a woman should have the right to decide which, if any family member is going to be present at the time of her delivery or even during pregnancy check-ups.

In India this is a sensitive topic and should be approached with an open mind and the mother’s best interests at heart. Care should be taken that the woman does not feel pressurized to have, for instance, her mother-in-law with her at the time of labour. If the mother-to-be feels uncomfortable it will make the labour process protracted and long-drawn.

The mother must at no point feel obligated to include relatives especially in-laws at these junctures.

If the woman cannot stand up and ask for privacy it may be a good idea to involve the attending physician or administrative staff in limiting the number of individuals attending her delivery.

Typically, in Indian families several visitors flock to see the new born and the new mom immediately after birth. Sometimes the new mother, already worn out from the process of giving birth is almost forced to make small talk with visitors who drop by. Extra precautions should be taken to restrict visitors (such as enforcing visiting hours) to ensure the new mother gets adequate rest after her baby delivery, which will ease her passage into this new and challenging phase of life.

Privacy for a mother is important at all stages – pregnancy, delivery and post-pregnancy. Doctors, nurses, support staff and families should work in tandem to see that her need for privacy is upheld during the entire process.

Did  you find this article useful? Do you feel you had adequate privacy during your labour and delivery? Share your story with us at and be featured on our website!