Our new film, commissioned for our #PureLove campaign, aims to boost this confidence by proving to new mums just how amazing their bodies are. The film captures an experiment by world-renowned ‘skin to skin’ expert Dr Susan Ludington that shows the science behind skin to skin and the natural power a mum has to care for her baby.
Using heart rate, oxygen and breathing monitors as well as an infrared technology to capture body temperature, three new mums allowed Dr Ludington to monitor their days’ old babies as they held them in a swaddled position and then by holding them skin to skin on the chest.** All three mums witnessed how this skin to skin contact regulated their baby’s breathing, heart rate, oxygen levels and temperature within five minutes of being held in this position.
Dr Susan Ludington commented “Mums’ bodies are extraordinary. They spend nine months making and giving birth to a baby. And, once a baby is a born, a mother’s body continues to do incredible things for her baby – she even has the power to regulate baby’s biology simply by holding her baby skin to skin.
For this first time in this film we can actually see how being on your chest helps stabilise everything for baby; within five minutes of being held in skin to skin, we witness these mothers’ chests regulating their babies’ temperatures beautifully. This happens because both baby and mother synchronise and regulate each other’s biology when skin to skin contact occurs.”
Róisín Walsh, aged 29 said “The film made us feel confident that we were doing a good job – and also encouraged us to hug and kiss Elliot more. We feel now that Elliot has everything he will ever need in Chris and me. Once we have him in our lives, we will never need anything else.”
Siobhán McDermott, aged 33 said: “The experiment reassured me that we were both doing a good job and that Christopher was thriving. My heart was bursting with pride at how beautiful my boy looked in the film. It taught me the importance of touch, holding baby and relaxing with Christopher – in this fast paced world, it’s so important to step back and chill out. I try to give Christopher skin to skin as often as I can – I have also started mum & baby yoga and baby massage so that we can spend as much time together doing nice things that can also help us bond.”
New Mum’s Confidence – The Statistics
Before the birth of their baby, almost the same percentage of expectant mums and dads feel prepared for and confident about the birth of their baby – 58 per cent of men vs 57 per cent of women
After the birth of their baby, the percentage of new dads who feel prepared for and confident after the birth of their baby rises to 63 per cent whereas the percentage of new mums who feel prepared for and confident after the birth of their baby falls to 49 per cent
The dip in confidence is felt most keenly by one in five mums (21 per cent) of new mums in the first 3-6 days after their baby is born (in contrast to only 10% dads feel a confidence dip in this period) For 15 per cent of mums this confidence dip comes after the first week with a further 14 per cent experiencing this after two weeks.
For both new mums and dads, the top three reasons for this dip in confidence are equitable – 1. Tiredness (64 per cent) 2. Unsettled baby (41 per cent) 3. Trying to get baby into a routine (25 per cent) Gráinne Gallagher from WaterWipes said, “We understand how beautiful but also how tough the first few weeks with a new baby can be so, as part of our #PureLove campaign, we wanted to help show new mums just how incredible they already are. We know that newborn skin is much more delicate than ours and the importance of skin to skin in the bonding of parent and child. What amazed us with this experiment though was the sheer biology of skin to skin and the natural power that a mother has to help stabilise and soothe baby just through skin to skin contact in the first few weeks of life. We hope this film helps show to new mums that they are already all their baby needs.” We’re encouraging parents to share their reactions to the film and their personal experiences of using skin to skin in the first few weeks of their baby’s life on social media, using hashtag #PureLove.