Skin-to-skin….everyone wins

Picture of baby on mothers chest

Skin-to-skin means baby is placed on mother’s bare chest for at least an hour, or until the end of the first feed. Mother and baby can be covered with a light blanket. Most procedures and checks can be done with the mother and baby skin-to-skin.  If there are medical reasons for separation of mother and baby after birth, dad can start skin-to-skin with their baby until mom is available.

Why do skin-to-skin?

Skin-to-skin is good for your baby’s:

  • Heart rate
  • Breathing
  • Blood sugars
  • Temperature

Babies put skin-to skin will cry less and use less energy. Baby will be calmer, so you can relax and let breastfeeding happen naturally. Your baby will latch when ready. Keep cuddling skin-to-skin at any time in hospital and at home.  If your baby is sleepy and is not latching, skin-to-skin keeps baby close and near the breast so early hunger cues are not missed. If your baby is fussy, skin-to-skin is something that both mom and dad can do to help calm and settle.

For more information:
Kangaroo Care by Infact Canada
Skin-to-skin contact: support for Kangaroo Mother Care based on science and evidence
Kangaroo Mother Care
Beyond survival: Integrated delivery care practices for long-term maternal and infant nutrition, health and development by the Pan American Health Organization
Newborns: reducing mortality by the World Health Organization

Last updated: January 2016