Skin to Skin Contact and Bonding After Birth

Skin to Skin Contact and Bonding After Birth

When a mama gazes into her baby’s eyes immediately after birth, and baby is placed on mama’s abdomen with direct skin contact, a multitude of amazing things happen for both. The first hour after birth is referred to as the “Golden Hour” for a reason.

What happens physiologically to mama and baby during this time is fascinating. Healing begins faster, bonding occurs, breastfeeding has a better success rate, and probiotics get exchanged in a cozy environment. These benefits have made skin-to-skin internationally recommended.

Increased Rate of Success for Breastfeeding

When a baby is skin-to-skin in the first hour of life, baby and mama have primordial instincts to breastfeed. The first milk produced, called colostrum, is what newborns smell in preference just after amniotic fluid. Baby is actually able to crawl up to the breast, motivated by sense of smell. His or her little legs push down on mama’s belly to hunt that nipple! This also helps massage the uterus, minimizing postpartum bleeding for mama too. Amazing isn’t it?

Colostrum is the perfect first meal for baby. It is nutrient rich, high in protein, and full of antibodies to help protect baby from infection. It is lower in sugar and fat than breastmilk, so it is easily digested. A few milliliters help to stabilize baby’s blood sugar over the course of the first 24 hours. Colostrum also helps establish lifelong gut flora. Who needs probiotics anyway?

Probiotics and Baby’s Body Temperature

Modifier EN

Furthermore, the heart beating of the mum is the most familiar sound for the newborn. It is proved that babies who spend in average two hours non stop skin to skin have more stable heart beating and breathing rhythm.

Finally, we should underline that babies kept against mum’s chest cry much less (in terms of intensity and duration) showing lower cortisol (stress hormone) rates than babies who have been separated.

Winberg J, Mother and Newborn Baby: Mutual Regulation of Physiology and Behavior. A Selective Review.: Dept of pediatrics, Q208, Karolinska Hospital, 171 76 Stockholm, Sweden Dev Psicobiol 2005; 47: 217-229

Skin to Skin Contact and Bonding After Birth

Contacto piel con piel después del nacimiento

Cuando una mamá mira a los ojos de su bebé inmediatamente después del nacimiento, y el bebé se coloca en el abdomen de la mamá en contacto directo con la piel, suceden una gran cantidad de cosas sorprendentes para ambos. La primera hora después del nacimiento se conoce como la « Hora Dorada » por una razón.

Lo que le sucede fisiológicamente a mamá y bebé durante este tiempo es fascinante. La curación de las heridas de la mamá se acelera, la unión se produce, la lactancia materna tiene una mejor tasa de éxito y los probióticos se intercambian en un ambiente acogedor.Estos beneficios han hecho que la práctica del “piel con piel”sea recomendada internacionalmente en los hospitales donde se da a luz.

Mayor tasa de éxito para la lactancia materna

Cuando un bebé está piel con piel con la mamá en la primera hora de vida, el bebé y la madre tienen instintos primarios para amamantar. La primera leche producida, llamada calostro, es lo segundo que más les atrae después del líquido amniótico. El bebé es capaz de trepar hasta el pecho, motivado por el sentido del olfato. ¡Sus pequeñas piernas empujan el vientre de mamá para alcanzar ese pezón! Esto también ayuda a masajear el útero, minimizando el sangrado posparto para la mamá. El calostro es la primera comida perfecta para el bebé. Es rico en nutrientes, alto en proteínas y lleno de anticuerpos para ayudar a proteger al bebé de las infecciones. Es más bajo en azúcar y grasa que la leche materna, por lo que es fácil de digerir. Unos pocos mililitros ayudan a estabilizar el azúcar en la sangre del bebé durante las primeras 24 horas. El calostro también ayuda a establecer la flora intestinal.

Regulación ritmo cardíaco, respiratorio y temperatura.

La madre y el bebé comparten los mismos anticuerpos únicos, por lo que la piel de una madre ya es un lugar familiar para el bebé. El abdomen de mamá es el espacio más beneficioso para un bebé en la primera hora. A través de la sincronía térmica, el cuerpo de la madre adapta su temperatura a las necesidades del bebé. Puede llegar a regular la temperatura del bebé con mayor efectividad que una incubadora. Además el latido del corazón es el sonido más familiar para el recién nacido. Se ha comprobado que los bebés que hacen piel con piel tienen el ritmo cardíaco y respiratorio más estable. Por último hay que destacar que lloran menos (en intensidad como duración), mostrando unas tasas de cortisol mucho más bajas. Y es que los bebés separados tenían cortisol (hormona del estrés) en saliva incluso 3h después.

Winberg J, Mother and Newborn Baby: Mutual Regulation of Physiology and Behavior. A Selective Review.: Dept of pediatrics, Q208, Karolinska Hospital, 171 76 Stockholm, Sweden Dev Psicobiol 2005; 47: 217-229


doulas barcelona

How to deal with baby blues after giving birth

John Stevenson once said “Giving birth is an ecstatic jubilant adventure not available to males. It is a woman’s crowning creative experience of a lifetime”.

The process of birth is one of the most exhilarating phenomena of nature and women are blessed to be able to shelter a living being for 9 months and bring it to life. No matter how surreal the miracle of birth may seem but the toll it takes upon a woman’s body goes unnoticed. It is not as simple as it sounds. The hormonal changes a woman goes through is pretty exhausting and right from the start of puberty, women undergo biological changes to prepare themselves for carrying a human life within their body.

Moreover, these hormonal adjustments do not stop even after parturition, i.e after giving birth. Isn’t it ironic how a beautiful process like this can cause so much stress to a woman?

Now, almost all women know the nature’s way of preparing them for the process of creating life. They are taught right from the beginning how to deal with the pain and stress of menstruation, how to deal with the bipolar behavior experienced during the premenstrual period. But what remains hidden behind the curtains is the story of postpartum mood swings, more popularly known as baby blues.

Yes, the mysterious cycle of hormones does not stop acting even after a woman gives birth. The heavenly feeling of holding the piece of her own body in her arms seems to be replaced by an unknown sense of misery, mostly by the third day after parturition. No one warns the mother about the upcoming event that will throw her into the blues.

Usually, women suffer from depression, a sense of loneliness dooms like it is the end of the world. Most of the women react by retreating themselves in their own cocoon, they avoid interactions and prefer spending alone time.

And because they are the women who keep life going by tolerating insane changes, therefore, it is their right to know how to cope up with postpartum baby blues. Here are a few methods that might be of help:

1) Go to your doctor:

The time of postpartum baby blues is when a mother undergoes mood swings caused because of hormonal changes. As, it is a doctor who knows the history of pregnancy, details of the complications faced during the parturition and moreover, he is the best person who understands the language hormone speaks.

Therefore, if a mother feels uneasy to discuss it with any member of the family or to her friends, it is best to call your doctor. He/she might provide you the right counseling that will bring you back to the daily routine. And if necessary, your doctor might prescribe few drugs to keep the blues at bay.

2) Ask help from your family:

No one knows you better than your family. Family members are the ones who already understand your nature. And because the third, fourth and fifth days after delivery are when all the negative thoughts might engulf you, therefore it is best to keep yourself surrounded by your family members. Talk to them, tell them how you feel, ask them to help. They surely will understand what you are going through and will give you the love needed to keep the blues away.

3) Take some ‘me’ time:

Yes, you have given birth to a baby. Yes, you are his or her mother. But that does not mean the entire responsibility to keep protect your baby is on your shoulders. Your body had gone through a lot and at least for a few days when you are not feeling well, you can take some time out for yourself.

Go on and take some sleep, be lazy, satisfy the cravings for sweet, pamper yourself, read if you like. Dress up, go out and paint the town red. You have been fighting these hormones since you were a girl, face them for a few more days and do it in the best way you can.

4) Do not blame yourself:

This is the time when insanity takes over, there is so much of negativity in your head that you might start blaming yourself for all that is happening. Fear of not being a good mother and ignoring your own child only after 3 days of his/ her birth might make you feel sick of yourself.

But, calm down. You did your best. You protected your child for 9 months and you brought it to life. You may relax now. Keep in mind you are not a bad mother, these are just bad hormones that are making you feel this way. Do not blame yourself. It is natural to feel this way. Give it some time and it will pass away.

5) A doula can help you:

Many of us do not know but a birth companion or doula is a person who is your partner during your time of pregnancy, parturition and even post-parturition. A doula is a nonmedical person who helps you out emotionally and helps you with the physical activities during these months. And just like a doctor, a doula is well aware of your situation and this talking to him/her can be both convenient and helpful.

Giving life is a blessing God has bestowed upon women. Although, it is a great deal of responsibility to carry a child and bring him to existence it is equally necessary to keep your health fit. Because it is you who creates life, it is necessary for you to deal with these changes boldly and beautifully.

Tips to slow down before giving birth

Tips to slow down before giving birth

Birth can be straightforward, can be exciting, intense, life changing, a really strong situation, probably not perfect…

As I explain in my antenatal courses in Barcelona or online, birth is physical but also a physiological and an emotional process.

Your birth will start when your oxytocin levels are high enough that your contractions can start… And basically oxytocin is the love and happiness hormone.

You need to feel relaxed, happy, stress free, let yourself slow down a little, a bit like the feelings you have when you’re on holiday, really.

I know, in our society, this is no easy task, we are so busy with our jobs, social life… How can you be relaxed before giving birth?

So how can you prepare for birth?

1. Take a longer break before baby, you’re never going to regret alone time pre kids, around in the 36 weeks if you can.

2. Go to a pregnancy yoga class, and not only for the body, for the mind. Learn to switch off that mind and relax. Show your body you love it, let it move slowly and gently and love yourself with some quiet time.

3. Have a relaxation ritual at home. Whether it’s yoga, meditation or just eating cake and a nice tea, take time for yourself doing nothing.

4. Deal with your fears. Whatever is in your head and swirling around in there, don’t sit with it. Talk to someone, write it down, clear those fears!

5. Do some research and write down a short birth preferences list. What’s important to you? Why is it important? How will this be achieved? Start the conversation with yourself and your partner.

6. You have to be able to say NO. You are your priority right now. You are growing your beautiful baby…that’s enough. Don’t run around doing a zillion things, now is not that time.

7. Sing to baby. Choose a lullaby now, when they’re in your arms they’ll be able to recognise it and be soothed by it

8. Prepare for after the birth. What will it be like? Talk to other mothers…what is essential? Food should be up there…an extra pair of hands, gather your tribe. And while you’re there ask them the same about their birth stories, get their tips!

9. Listen to yourself. Your body and your baby will send you signs…extra tired, achy back, feeling low…listen and look after yourself. This is a special time, don’t miss it being busy.

10. And above all, be open minded. We never know how your birth will be, often it may be something very different to what you expected. It is important to flow, to trust in the sanitary personnel you have chosen to be with you and to accept what comes…

Where to give birth in Barcelona

Vaginal Birth After C-Section

If you’ve delivered a baby by caesarean section, you may have a choice with your next pregnancy – a vaginal birth after caesarean, also known as a VBAC, or a planned (elective) caesarean. It depends on your medical circumstances, and it helps to know about the potential benefits and risks of VBAC. Vaginal Birth After C-Section

As long as you’re an appropriate candidate for a vaginal birth after a cesarean there’s a good chance you’ll succeed. Of course, your chances of success are higher if the reason for your previous c-section isn’t likely to be an issue this time around.

The chances of having a successful VBAC are higher if you and your baby are in good health and your pregnancy is progressing normally. In contrast, your doctor may recommend a planned caesarean if:

  • you have a pregnancy complication (for example, high blood pressure, your baby is in the breech position or there is concern about the size or health of your baby)
  • the reason you had your previous caesarean still exists
  • you’ve had two or more caesareans and no successful vaginal deliveries
  • your previous caesarean was performed using a vertical incision (cut) in your abdomen
  • you have a multiple pregnancy (for example, twins, triplets or more).

Why is a VBAC done?

Women consider VBAC for various reasons:

  • Shorter recovery time. You’ll have a shorter hospital stay after a VBAC than you would after a repeat C-section. Avoiding surgery will help you resume your normal activities sooner, as well as reduce the expense of childbirth.
  • Opportunity for an individualized birth plan. For some women, it’s important to experience a vaginal delivery.
  • Impact on future pregnancies. If you’re planning to have a larger family, VBAC might help you avoid the risks of multiple cesarean deliveries, such as scarring. Scarring might make additional surgery difficult and increase the risk of placental problems in pregnancies.
  • Lower risk of surgical complications. Vaginal deliveries have lower rates of bleeding, infection, blood clotting in one or more of the deep veins in the body (deep vein thrombosis), and injury to abdominal organs, such as the bladder or bowel.
when do i feed my baby

Ways to Establish a Positive Bond with Your Baby

Bonding is essential for a baby. Studies of newborn monkeys who were given mannequin mothers at birth showed that, even when the mannequins were made of soft material and provided formula to the baby monkeys, the babies were better socialized when they had live mothers to interact with. The baby monkeys with mannequin mothers also were more likely to suffer from despair. Scientists suspect that lack of bonding in human babies can cause similar problems. Ways to Establish a Positive Bond with Your Baby

Most infants are ready to bond immediately. Parents, on the other hand, may have a mixture of feelings about it. Some parents feel an intense attachment within the first minutes or days after their baby’s birth. For others, it may take a bit longer.

But bonding is a process, not something that takes place within minutes and not something that has to be limited to happening within a certain time period after birth. For many parents, bonding is a byproduct of everyday caregiving. You may not even know it’s happening until you observe your baby’s first smile and suddenly realize that you’re filled with love and joy.

The best way for a new mother to establish a positive bond with her newborn at home is breastfeeding so you have the physical connection. Besides the physical connection, the mother releases a lot of endorphins, happy hormones, during breastfeeding so moms are generally happier when they breastfeed. But if you have decided not to bresastfeed for any reason, you can look to your baby in the eyes having her really close meanwhile you feed her.

Making an Attachment

Bonding with your baby is probably one of the most pleasurable aspects of infant care. You can begin by cradling your baby and gently rocking or stroking him or her. If you and your partner both hold and touch your infant frequently, your little one will soon come to know the difference between your touches. Both of you can also take the opportunity to be « skin to skin » with your newborn by holding him or her against your own skin.

Babies may respond to infant massage, you’ll need to massage your baby very gently. Before trying out infant massage, be sure to educate yourself on proper techniques by checking out the many books, videos, and websites on the subject. You can also find out if there are classes in infant massage in your area.

Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding are both natural times for bonding. Infants respond to the smell and touch of their mothers, as well as the responsiveness of parents to their needs. In an uncomplicated birth, caregivers try to take advantage of the infant’s alert period immediately after birth and encourage feeding and holding of the baby. However, this isn’t always possible and, though ideal, immediate contact isn’t necessary for the future bonding of the child and parent.

¿Cuándo llevar a un bebé al médico?

¿Cuándo llevar a un bebé al médico?

Es común que los nuevos padres y madres se sientan como tú. Hasta hace poco, el bebé estaba sano y protegido dentro de ti. Aunque instintivamente sabes que es fuerte y resistente, a veces también recuerdas lo vulnerable que puede ser.

Si tu bebé tiene algún problema de salud o lo encuentras comportándose de forma extraña, confía en tu instinto.

Para protegerlo sigue algunas precauciones básicas: mantenlo alejado de personas enfermas y lávate las manos después de cada cambio de pañal. Si está amamantando, debes saber que ya lo está protegiendo.

Aquí una lista de síntomas que usted decidirá ir al médico.

Carácter. Si su bebé parece estar feliz y se alimenta bien, probablemente no esté gravemente enfermo. Esto no significa que no se deba pensar en agendar una cita para ver a su pediatra si tiene fiebre, moquitos o alguna otro síntoma. Pero es probable que un bebé que tenga tos y una gran sonrisa no esté tan enfermo como un bebé que tenga moquitos y esté muy letárgico.

Lloro inusual. Si su bebé comienza a llorar repentinamente más de lo normal y no puede consolarlo de la manera habitual, o si su llanto es débil o inusualmente agudo, es posible que esté enfermo.
Apetito. Si tu bebé cambia su apetito de un día para otro, si se cansa fácilmente de succionar o pierde interés en el pecho o en alimentarse probablemente esté enfermo. Además, si observa que su bebé regurgita su comida más de lo normal, con más esfuerzo.

Movimientos intestinales anormales. Los bebés pequeños, especialmente los bebés amamantados, suelen tener deposiciones suaves o líquidos. Sin embargo, si tu bebé tiene diarrea (deposiciones acuosas), su estómago puede tener algún problema. Controla la frecuencia y si la diarrea continúa asegúrate de hidratarlo con frecuencia. Es especialmente importante que controlemos las heces del bebé en ese caso para descartar que contienen sangre o moco.

Dificultad al respirar . Si observas que tu bebé tiene problemas para respirar, o que el bebé respira con dificultad, busca ayuda de inmediato.

Temperatura. Aunque la presencia de fiebres altas en un bebé es una señal de que está enfermo la fiebre sola no suele ser motivo de preocupación. Un bebé puede tener fiebre baja y estar gravemente enfermo, o fiebre alta y estar solo ligeramente enfermo. Pero si un bebé menor de tres meses tiene fiebre más alta que 38 grados C, debe ser examinado por un médico.

¿Qué hospital elegir para dar a luz en Barcelona?

¿Qué hospital elegir para dar a luz en Barcelona?

Si estás eligiendo en qué hospital dar a luz en Barcelona, ¡enhorabuena! ¡Tu bebé está llegando!

Te dejo algunas reflexiones para que sea más fácil elegir un hospital para dar a luz.

Sistema público

Si vas al sistema público seguramente en tu CAP te habrán informado cuál es tu hospital de referencia y puede que te hagan el seguimiento del embarazo en ese hospital.

Seguramente tienen un formulario de plan de parto que puedes llevar rellenado el día del parto, y también podrás visitar las instalaciones antes del gran día.

Sino te convence no estás obligada a dar a luz allí, puedes hablar con tu matrona y pedir el cambio a otro hospital o simplemente le día que vayas a dar a luz ir a otro hospital: están obligados a atenderte.

Si quieres un parto respetado todos los hospitales están obligado a ofrecerte ese parto y esos cuidados pero existen dos hospitales en Barcelona especializados en partos respetados como son Sant Joan de Déu y la Maternitat.

Sistema privado

Si tienes seguro médico privado o eliges el sistema privado existen muchas opciones, ya sean hospitales grandes o pequeñas clínicas.

Infórmate sobre qué procedimientos tienen en los partos y si disponen de una UVI para neonatos por si tu bebé la necesita.

Parto en casa o casa de partos

Si decides dar a luz en casa o en una casa de partos tienes diversas opciones de matronas que ofrecen estos servicios.

How to manage labour fears

How to manage labour fears

It is totally normal to be scared of labour. Probably Hollywood didn’t make it easy for us, a lot of pain, blood and unexpected births appear in a lot of movies but… Don’t worry, your labour is not going to be like that!

Many women have anxiety around delivering a baby, they fear the prospect of pain or needing to have interventions. Others are simply scared of becoming a parent.

The good news is that you can handle that!!

  1. Information

Information is the key: read and take an antenatal course. Ask as many questions you have to your doctor and you will see how fears go away.

Look for an antenatal course that trains you to cope with pain and fears: breathing will be your best friend and there are some tips to be more relaxed during labour.

I can offer you a group antenatal course or private classes. You can write to me and I will give you more details :

  1. Talk about it

Don’t keep this fear only for you: talk about it!

Expressing your thoughts can help you understand them, which will give you insight into how to cope. And while it may be tempting to avoid thinking about labour, ignoring your worries can make the fear grow. In some cases, it can also affect your mental health during pregnancy.: if fear is not addressed, it can manifest as depression or anxiety.

  1. Go team

Picking the right people to be with you can help reassure you. A strong ally, like a doula or your partner, can advocate for you, especially if you go in with a birth plan that everybody is comfortable with.

Just remember, no matter how scared you are, you will get through it!

Trucos para volver al trabajo después de la baja por maternidad

Trucos para volver al trabajo después de la baja por maternidad

La maternidad es una increíble. Viene con su un montón de nuevos placeres, buenas sensaciones y un amor increíble. Pero también viene con unas cuantas nuevas sensaciones no tan positivas.

Seguramente estar con tu bebé todo el día es lo que más feliz te hace en el mundo, e incluso puede que tu vida de antes sea algo borroso en tu memoria pero… Seguramente has empezado a preguntarte qué sucederá después de la baja por maternidad.

No importa si has pasado 2 meses con tu bebé como 2 años: tu elección es la correcta si has pensado en volver al trabajo pero seguramente tendrás emociones encontradas.

Seguramente lo que más te preocupa, si estás dando el pecho, sea cómo mantener la lactancia materna cuando no vais a pasar todo el tiempo juntos.

Trucos para mantener la lactancia materna después de la vuelta al trabajo

  1. Si planeas seguir amamantando, deberás introducir la rutina de la extracción de leche antes de la vuelta al trabajo, por un lado para ir habituándote y por otro para empezar a hacer una pequeña reserva de leche en el congelador
  2. Una vez al día deja que otra persona le dé de comer a tu bebé con tu leche, es recomendable usar los biberones Calma de Medela porque interfieren en la lactancia. Existen otras maneras de que el bebé tome la leche, como puede ser con una taza o con una jeringuilla.
  3. En cuanto llegues a la oficina encuentra una ubicación privada, puede ser que tu empresa tenga una sala de lactancia o tal vez puedes usar una sala de reuniones vacía.
  4. Infórmate de tus derechos, seguramente tendrás ciertas horas al día disponibles para volver a casa a amamantar a tu bebé y sobre todo la vuelta al trabajo debe ser en las mismas condiciones en las que te fuiste.
  5. Seguramente los primeros días serán los más difíciles, tanto en la extracción de leche como en las emociones, permítete estar triste y ve controlando la cantidad de leche que puedes ir extrayéndote.
  6. Empieza un miércoles o jueves, así te aseguras tener una primera semana corta.

¡Ánimo amiga! Esta sensación se pasará con el paso de los días.