This Version Posted: December 19, 2019
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
- 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
- Breastfeed more easily
- Learn when your baby is getting hungry
- Bond more with your baby
- Gain confidence and satisfaction caring for your baby
- 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.