Breastfeeding · Parenting

Holding your baby skin-to-skin: What are the benefits?

baby being held skin to skin

Your bare chest is the best place for your baby to adjust to life outside the womb.  Your baby smells you, hears you, feels you and gets to know you.  Skin to skin contact means holding your bare baby against your bare chest or tummy.

Your Baby’s First Hours

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

 Benefits for 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

Benefits for Mothers

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

Benefits for 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
  • Help your baby breastfeed when sleepy

 

Skin-to-Skin is Easy.  Here’s How:Parent holding baby skin to skin

  1. Take off your baby’s blanket and clothing. Leave a diaper on.
  2. Move your clothing away from your chest and tummy.
  3. Hold your baby, facing you, against your chest or tummy.
  4. You can put a blanket over you and your baby.
  5. Enjoy the closeness and bonding with your baby.

 

Family and Skin-to-Skin

Your family members can also spend skin-to-skin time with your baby. If you have a partner, plan 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.

As your baby grows, continue to hold your baby skin-to-skin!


Note
: Babies under 6 months old should be placed on their back in a crib or cradle close to your bed when you are ready to sleep.  It is important that cribs and cradles meet current Canadian safety regulations.

Learn more about the benefits of holding your baby skin to skin.

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