Skin-to-skin means holding your baby so that their bare skin is against the bare skin of your chest or stomach. This time of contact with mom (and dad) is an important first step to connecting with your baby
and your bare chest is the best place for your baby to adjust to life outside the womb.
Your newly born baby
Soon after your baby is born, hospital staff will support you to start skin-to-skin time with your baby. Being held close against the skin of your belly or chest helps your baby feel secure, safe and loved in a new environment.
Continue cuddling skin-to-skin whenever possible as your baby grows so that you can continue to get to know one another and form a long lasting bond. Also, encourage your partner and other family members to share skin-to-skin time with your baby.
Benefits of skin-to-skin with your baby
Babies who experience skin-to-skin will:
- Breastfeed better.
- Cry less and are calmer.
- Stay warmer.
- Enjoy more comfort from you.
- Have better blood sugar levels.
- Are protected by some of your good bacteria.
Mothers who use skin-to-skin time with baby will:
- Breastfeed more easily.
- Learn when baby is getting hungry.
- Bond more with baby.
- Gain confidence and satisfaction caring for baby
Skin-to-skin and breastfeeding
Skin-to-skin contact with your baby can have positive impacts on your breastfeeding experience with baby. Moms who do skin-to-skin are more likely to have a successful first breastfeed, may find that their baby breastfeeds sooner and longer, and they will make more breast milk.
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Source: Toronto Public Health. 'Holding your baby skin-to-skin'. Retrieved from: www1.toronto.ca/wps.