Skin-to-Skin Care

Skin-to-skin position after delivery

After your baby is delivered and the cord is clamped and cut, your baby will be dried. If the baby has an uncomplicated delivery and is vigorous and crying, he or she will be placed on your chest and covered with a warmed blanket or towel. This is known as the skin-to-skin position.

Benefits of skin-to-skin care for your baby

Skin-to-skin care means your baby’s bare skin touches your bare belly or chest as much as possible. This is recommended in the first days and weeks of life. The position helps a baby’s adjustment to life outside the womb go much smoother. With skin-to-skin contact, a baby will:

  • Be better able to maintain a normal body temperature
  • Be better able to normalize and maintain his/her heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure
  • Have a higher blood sugar than babies who do not have skin-to-skin contact
  • Be less likely to cry

Additionally, if you are planning to breastfeed, your baby may find it easier to latch on in this position, and you may be more likely to breastfeed longer.

Skin-to-skin care benefits for you

Skin-to-skin position also has benefits for the mother, including:

  • Lower risk for postpartum bleeding
  • Decreased need for pain medications
  • Better rest periods and sleep

Both bottle-feeding and breastfeeding mothers and their babies are encouraged to do skin-to-skin positioning. From the point of view of breastfeeding, babies who are kept in uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact with the mother immediately after birth for at least an hour are more likely to latch on without any help and they are more likely to latch on well, especially if the mother did not receive medication during the labor or birth.

Regardless of feeding choice, skin-to-skin contact helps with bonding and helps to calm a baby when he or she is upset. During skin-to-skin time, anything that is not necessary for