Skin-to-Skin Care

What is it?

Skin-to-skin care, also known as “kangaroo care,” means early and continuous holding of your naked baby with your bare chests touching, allowing mom and baby to be close. This contact increases bonding and provides many benefits to baby.

sts-imageWhen can I do it?

Skin-to-skin care should begin immediately after birth, unless there are complications with the baby. Once the child is born, your care team will place the baby on your abdomen to cut the umbilical cord and dry the baby off with blankets. 60 to 90 minutes of skin-to-skin care after birth are recommended to provide the maximum benefit for you and baby.

How do I do it?

Place your baby on your bare chest, facing you. Cover the baby’s back with a blanket. Then relax and enjoy!

Who can do it?

If the mother is unable to provide skin-to-skin care, the father or support person may step in to provide this care.

Can I provide skin-to-skin care at home?

Yes; skin-to-skin care can also be continued while at home. Skin-to-skin care is a great way to strengthen your relationship as parent and child. Remember to make sure the house is kept at a warm temperature and to cover the baby’s back with a blanket.

Why should I do it?

There are several benefits of using skin-to-skin care. Many of the immediate benefits are listed below. Long-term benefits include fewer infections, improved attachment, and increases in social and motor development.

Benefits

  • Calms and soothes baby
  • Increased bonding between mother and child
  • Helps regulate temperature, heart rate, blood sugar and breathing
  • More effective breastfeeding
  • Infants cry less and for shorter periods than infants in cribs