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Skin to Skin Contact

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What is skin to skin?

The term skin to skin refers to placing your naked baby (with or without a diaper) on your bare chest or tummy, so that you are chest to chest. This position is being encouraged as soon after birth as possible. Your baby will be able to hear, see and smell you easily. Even if you have had a cesarean section, you can still hold your baby in a chest to chest position. If you are unable to hold your baby in that position your partner or family member can do skin to skin.

What are the advantages of skin to skin contact?

Skin to skin in the immediate time following your baby’s birth can help to stabilize his/her temperature, breathing, heart rate and blood sugar.

Doing skin to skin in the months following your baby’s birth can:

  • Help you become aware of your baby’s feeding cues
  • Help with breastfeeding and can improve mom’s milk supply
  • Calm your baby
  • Reduce stress in mom and baby
  • Help bond with baby

There is no age at which skin to skin is no longer recommended (reference – La Leche League Canada )
For more information about skin to skin, contact the Haldimand Norfolk Health Unit at 519-426-6170 (Simcoe) or 905-318-5367 (Caledonia) and ask to speak with a Public Health Nurse on the Maternal and Child Health team.