Naked

This just popped up in my in box:

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I’m not going to take Blake up on her offer, but it did remind me of a blog post I had wanted to write, about the importance of being naked – in fact: skin to skin contact, to be precise. I felt that I had to share with you just how very important I think it is, on the off chance that it may save a marriage, or help someone to bond with their baby.

Now, I am not a nudist, in fact I’m quite a prude. I don’t strut my stuff in front of my kids (to be honest I couldn’t deal with the backlash) and I don’t get my tits out on the beach. I’m not knocking anyone who does either. But recently it became abundantly clear to me how much I need to feel someone else’s skin pressed up to mine. In my case, my partner’s, but you may have your own person of choice. I discovered its importance through having two injured shoulders, that for quite a while rendered staying in one position for any length of time, impossible. I would wriggle and writhe my way around the bed, so any sustained pressing together of bodies was impossible. I began to realise how much I missed it. How much I ached for it and much it recharges my endorphins. This isn’t a lazy, loose hand draped across a pillow in the vague direction of the other half – this is serious skin on to skin action and it’s the simplest thing to do. Got a headache? Skin to skin action baby! Feeling so exhausted you haven’t even got the energy to turn off the light? Skin to skin it right up!

The day I started to wear pyjamas in bed was the day, I swear, my marriage started to fall apart. Damn those pyjamas with their promises of warmth and comfort. Damn the thermals that stopped the Winter chill. Damn even the sexy silk ones with their alluring promises. Damn you all, because you put a stop to the one thing that was always there: a constant so simple and honest that it got covered up and with it a natural bond was getting covered up too and over time – smothered.

As I began to realise the importance of the most natural of connections, I thought about how much time I had spent with my babies, naked. When they are first placed on you after birth, that feeling of naked contact is designed to create an immediate bond. That connection may not always happen, but for me I was lucky that it did. Breastfeeding can continue this wonderful, naked relationship, but if you aren’t breastfeeding I can now see how vital it could be to lay your baby naked on your skin. Dads too. Everyone loves to see a photo of a baby laying on a bare torso – it’s almost become a clichΓ©, but I now realise that it is most probably essential for the dads to create that bond.

Of course this holy unclad grail may not always be possible: you may not have a partner and many other reasons besides. But I urge you if you have to ditch the jammies, clamber out of the onesie – yes, even though it’s Winter and connect, skin to skin: pressed, passively, perfect. Equally vulnerable. Equal.

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19 thoughts on “Naked”

  1. Great post! You’re so right that skin contact really promotes bonds. It’s interesting that it’s promoted so heavily for parents with babies but not really mentioned beyond that. It really does make a massive difference though.

    I’m not sure if you’ve seen it but I saw a really moving video last year; it was about a couple who experienced the most amazing skin-to-skin even with their child. You really must watch it. It’s embedded in my blog post: http://www.lifemotherhoodandeverything.com/wpblog/parenting/the-power-of-touch/. Makes me cry and grab my daughter whenever I watch it… #DreamTeam

  2. This is a great post! I know I spend absolutely no time naked with my children. They are toddlers now but safe to say I don’t think I ever did. I probably should have done!
    #DreamTeam

  3. Oh i love this. A good reminder for me too at the moment that i need to connect with my husband a bit more at the moment. I just feel a bit protective of my body right now – I have a newborn and a toddler and one or the other is limpeted to me at any one time (not necessarily skin on skin mind you). The thought of choosing to make bodily contact with another when I could just bask in aloneness isn’t hugely appealing but i think changing my attitude to what benefits i would get from skin on skin is important. And realising the impact it could have on a relationship, eek.
    On the baby note, my husband had skin on skin with both our babies when they were born in between me having it with them and it’s such a happy memory for him.
    Thank you for writing this. Lovely post. #familyfun

    1. Thank you so much for your comments – I can totally relate to them. I had 4 kids under 5 and I think that I used my pj’s as a barrier that said: I need space! However, as you say, the benefits of skin to skin are so great, with hindsight I don’t think I should have slipped into that habit. It’s so good to hear about your husband’s positive experiences with your babies too. Perhaps give ditching the pjs a go and see how it makes you both feel πŸ™‚

  4. I’ve never really thought about it but I think you’re right – clothes add this extra barrier. My toddler definitely prefers skin on skin contact when she’s falling asleep- usually she’s pinching me! πŸ˜‰

    #familyfun

    1. Ah, that’s so lovely for your toddler. I certainly know that pj’s can be consciously used as a barrier, which can’t be healthy. Thank you for your comments.

  5. This is so beautiful and so true. There is something incredibly natural and holistic about skin to skin contact, it’s sharing warmth and touch and letting a person be close to you when you are at your must vulnerable. I think there is a lot to be said for it and I I’m totally on board with encouraging new dads to spend time skin to skin with their new borns to help develop their bond. Thanks for sharing with #DreamTeam x

  6. I am a big fan of skin to skin. Sadly I couldn’t do it with my second child as he was too poorly but I did with my first and I’ll never forget it. As for my partner I hadn’t thought about it if I am honest and I am a big pj fan… hmm perhaps I better readdress this. Have a lovely Christmas and thanks so much for joining us at #familyfun xx

  7. I’ve always worn PJs round my partner! Makes me think I should try some skin time. Never thought about it at all. My baby 100% yes. Great post Thanks for linking up to #familyfun

    1. It’s funny that I hadn’t given it any thought either, until my shoulders were kaput! Definitely give that skin time a go πŸ™‚

  8. Yes!! Love skin to skin, what a fantastic topic to discuss. It doesn’t feel right wearing pyjamas in bed any more, it’s the only time you have to spend naturally with someone you love. Thank you πŸ™‚ A xx #FamilyFun

    1. Yes! This is absolutely true – it is the only time you can spend time completely naturally with someone. Thank you for your comments.

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