Delivering a baby, whether through cesarean or natural birth, could leave both mothers and their babies at a vulnerable state, especially if there are after birth complications. The journey doesn’t end when mothers give birth since their bodies may need a bit more time to heal before they could take their babies home. In which case, if mothers can’t immediately tend to their babies after delivery, the father could accompany their child in the meantime.
In a recent study published in the journal Acta Paediatrica, researchers found just how fathers could provide benefits for their newborn babies after a cesarean birth.
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Benefits Of Paternal Skin-To-Skin Contact
Earlier studies have found just how beneficial skin-to-skin contact between fathers with their newborn babies are. Not only does it improve their bond but it could also help regulate their temperature and heartbeat.
While separating babies from their mothers after a c-section delivery is common, the researchers of the Acta Paediatrica journal found that fathers may give the same benefits of contact to their child.
Their findings involved 95 infants that were randomised according to the cot, father’s arms or skin-to-skin contact with the dad after they were born through c-section delivery.
Authors of the study found that compared to the cot and being their father’s arms, the newborns had higher and more stable heart rates over time after skin-to-skin contact with their dads. They also saw that wakefulness was higher through paternal skin-to-skin contact.
There were no negative effects found from skin-to-skin contact among infants with their dad.
Researchers added, “The skin-to-skin group showed some advantages over the cot and fathers’ arms groups when it came to establishing stable physiological parameters and wakefulness.”
“This approach should be supported during mother-infant separation,” they concluded.