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Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Babies and Children
- Growth & Development - Skin-to-Skin

Skin to Skin

What is Skin-to-Skin?

  • Skin-to-skin means that a baby wears only a diaper and is held in an upright position on mom or dad’s bare chest.

How and When to do Skin-to-Skin?

  • Place baby upright on mom or dad’s bare chest with only a diaper on. It is also ok to place a light blanket across the baby’s back while doing skin-to-skin. Skin-to-skin is most effective if done for an hour or more. Skin-to-skin should be done as soon as possible after birth. Premature babies can benefit from skin-to-skin as well. This is also known as Kangaroo Mother-Baby Care. Older babies also enjoy skin-to-skin. Continuing to hold the baby skin-to-skin, often and for long periods of time, as the baby gets older is also important.

Benefits of skin-to-skin:

  • When babies are held skin-to-skin, they are able to hear their mom’s heart beat and breathing, and smell and feel her skin, which is very comforting for them.

  • Stabilizes baby’s vital signs – heart rate, breathing, blood sugar, body temperature.

  • Promotes interaction and bonding with your baby.

  • Decreases the level of stress hormones in mom and baby, which results in a calmer baby that cries less.

  • Increases mom’s confidence and relaxation, which helps stimulate milk production and let down.

  • Promotes earlier establishment of a proper latch and feeding, which means that mom is less likely to have sore nipples and baby will get more milk.

  • Babies are more likely to breastfeed exclusively and longer if skin-to-skin is done.

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Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
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