I didn’t have a birth plan for either of my births. Especially the second time around, after having been through it once, I knew that those best laid plans almost always change in the moment. The baby is calling the shots. Still, though, there were a few things I knew I wanted to happen if at all possible, like skin-to-skin as soon as my baby was born.
I knew skin-to-skin time right after birth was an important way to bond with your baby and I had heard it could help with breastfeeding, but I didn’t know a whole lot more than that. A few weeks before my second baby was born I attended a webinar that Isis Parenting sponsored about “Kangaroo care”, which is a specific type of skin-to-skin where the baby is put chest-to-chest with mom (no bra or clothes between them) and covered with a blanket for an hour at a time. I learned that there are SO MANY more ways that this position can have a positive impact on mom and baby.
Kangaroo care can (among other things):
- regulate baby’s heart rate and breathing
- stabilize baby’s temperature and blood sugar
- help relax a newborn so much they can even fall asleep for a full sleep cycle
- improve baby’s latch and suck, thus making milk transfer more effective and helping get a strong breastfeeding relationship started
- stimulate mom’s oxytocin and prolactin levels, helping with milk production as well as postpartum recovery
- decrease both mom and baby’s stress responses and cortisol levels, and also reduce maternal anxiety
- help babies gain weight appropriately when practiced regularly over time
When Emmett came shooting out faster than the speed of light I was in complete shock and awe. Just as I had asked, my midwife put him directly on my chest. He cried and I cried and Benjamin cried. I could feel Emmett’s tiny stomach moving and his little hands squeezed my skin and his eyes looked up at me. I remember getting extremely cold almost immediately after delivery and Emmett was looking a little blue himself, so the nurses covered both of us (with him still on my chest) in heated blankets and let our skin-to-skin contact work its magic. I’ll never forget how he felt against my chest right at that moment.
After that moment, though, I never really gave skin-to-skin another thought. I was holding my newborn most of the day, but we always had clothes on. Laying around for hours on end with my baby doing skin-to-skin once we got home was not exactly possible, especially with an active 3 year old vying for my attention and the endless revolving door of guests who wanted to come by in the early days.
Enter the NuRoo Pocket.
The NuRoo pocket is a shirt/babywearing wrap that allows you to do skin-to-skin while being completely covered (think: when the guests are still popping in). You can even breastfeed in it (though I haven’t tried this yet). It’s pretty genius.
It was CLEARLY designed by mothers who have been there, done that, because it is incredibly well thought out. The fabric is super soft and stretchy, but also supportive, so it feels good on your bare skin (and sensitive nipples!). The shirt and support belt come in a variety of cute colors and patterns and are very well-made, so it feels like you’re putting on a cute, fitted top (unlike most of my ill-fitting nursing clothes). When used with the support belt right under the baby’s butt, it is completely hands free. I could prep dinner, wash dishes or play Zingo with Owen no problem. For those using it in the hospital, there is even a little slit in the shirt so that the heel can be exposed for needle pricks (skin-to-skin can reduce the baby’s pain perception during these annoying but necessary procedures).
I find it a teeny bit hard to put on by myself (like many baby carriers), as you have to pull it kind of hard and find the right velcro section. But generally Benjamin can lend me a hand and I’m sure I could manage on my own if I had to.
I didn’t receive mine until 2 weeks after Emmett was born. I thought maybe I had “missed the window” of skin-to-skin since he was getting so much bigger. As it turns out, the NuRoo Pocket can be used when your baby is up to 15 pounds, so we have several more months to go.
I can’t say that I’d wear this out to run errands or anything, but it is an awesome option for those fussy evening times. You know, the witching hours. Thankfully we’re seeing less and less of those times in the last week or so, but I still try to get an hour of skin-to-skin most days when Emmett and I are home.
This would be a great gift for a new mom, or especially a mom who already has a kid or two. Anything hands-free is worth its weight in gold, and the benefits of this gift go way beyond being able to check your email while holding your baby.
Visit the NuRoo Pocket website for more information.
Just so you know, I was not compensated for this review — I actually use and love this product. Hope, one of the creators of the NuRoo, offered to send me one to review, but she did not influence this post in any way.