Skin-to-Skin… Important for ALL Babies

The first hours of snuggling skin-to-skin help you and your baby bond and get to know each other. Hold your baby belly-down on your chest or tummy immediately after birth. Keep cuddling skin-to-skin as often as possible in the months after birth. The benefits for bonding and breastfeeding continue long after that. Safe skin-to-skin is also better for babies born prematurely or by Caesarean birth.

Safe skin-to-skin is easy. Here’s how:

  • Take off your baby’s blankets and clothing. Leave diaper on
  • Move clothing away from your chest and tummy
  • Choose a safe sleeping or resting area where you can sit in a semi reclined position
  • Hold your baby, facing you, against your chest and/or tummy
  • Make sure your baby can easily breathe by nose and mouth and can easily lift their head and turn from side to side
  • Make sure baby’s arms are not curled under his/her body
  • You can put a blanket over you and your baby
  • Enjoy the closeness and bonding with your baby

If you haven’t held your baby skin-to-skin yet, start now! It’s not too late.

Benefits of Holding your Baby Skin-to-Skin

Babies:

  • 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:

  • Breastfeed more easily
  • Learn when your baby is getting hungry
  • Bond more with your baby
  • Gain confidence and satisfaction caring for your baby

Breastfeeding:

  • Your baby is more likely to have a successful first breastfeed
  • Your baby may breastfeed sooner and longer
  • You will make more breast milk
  • Helps your baby breastfeed when sleepy

Families and Skin-to-skin: Your family members can also spend skin-to-skin time with your baby. If you have a partner, plan safe skin-to-skin time together with your baby. It’s a great way for you and your partner to spend time together and bond with your baby.

To learn more, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577 and speak with a Healthy Families nurse.