In the healthy newborn, Skin-to-Skin refers to holding the newborn immediately after birth, on the mother or caretaker's bare chest in an upright position. The practice should be uninterrupted for several hours. For complicated newborns, Skin-to-Skin should be prioritized when medically stable.
Skin-to-Skin care benefits all babies
Skin-to-skin care decreases crying
Accelerates brain development
Improves sleep & digestion
Regulates temperature, heart rate, and blood sugar
Enhances Immune system
Skin-to-Skin helps Moms
Reduces risk of postpartum depression
Decreases risk of postpartum hemorrhage
Increases milk supply
Skin-to-Skin is for Dads too
Helps warm newborns
Encourages bonding through the release of Oxytocin, increases protective behaviors even years down the road
Increases feelings of calm and confidence in understanding babies cues
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"As a mother and a midwife, I am acutely aware of the urgency in which babies and mothers search for one another at the moment of birth. It is through the return of contact that they both feel safe."
Angie is a midwife in Oregon and the producer The Heart of Touch. After witnessing many skin-to-skin benefits, Angie became a kangaroo care advocate hoping to inspire shifts in maternity care to better integrate this practice in all birth settings.
Susan Wegelt Heinz
Susan has been a midwife for over 30 years, and has had the privilege of attending births and providing holistic care to women in many different settings. She describes caring for women as a calling and passion – "it is what I do and part of who I am."
Susan follows her passions whole-heartedly which recently led her to open the Corvallis Birth and Women’s Health Center. Her dream was to create a space for women and families to gather and support each other. A place for women to receive and participate fully in their care, to be honored and loved, and for families to be born. Throughout her many years as a midwife and mother she has cherished the practice of skin-to-skin and has been instrumental in creating a culture in both hospital and birth center environments to support and encourage the practice.
Sophia Wright Emigh
Sophia Wright Emigh is a Vermont-born director, DP, and movement-maker based in Portland, OR. She is the co-founder and lead filmmaker of The Kinsight Project, and can usually be found exploring the themes of wilderness, the inner territory, ancestral connection, motherhood, and birth. Her work transmits the movement of life through still photography, and the ineffable quiet place inside motion through film, performance and participatory media.
Richard "Bhakti" Oyarzabal
"Having experienced skin-to-skin with my own children, it is important to me to share this story so that others can make informed decisions and enjoy this incredible time with their babies." Bhakti is active in the Northwest Film community and founder of Conscious Reel Productions. He specializes in storytelling and making an impact through film. He is the Director of a recent documentary (2015) Osha, which was filmed on location in Sierra Leone.
Mike has composed soundtracks for award winning short and feature length films, commercials, online content and web series. While also being a critically acclaimed touring musician, artistic director of The Creative Music Guild and instructor of audio production at Oregon State University.
Our film and broader public health initiative is made possible through the committed efforts of numerous volunteers and the support from the following partners: