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What are the health benefits of skin-to-skin care for NICU babies?

Intermountain Registered Dietitians
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

Skin-to-skin care has important health benefits for NICU babies:

  • Calms and soothes your baby
  • Helps your baby maintain a healthy body temperature
  • Helps regulate your baby’s heart rate, blood sugar and breathing
  • Improves your baby’s sleep
  • Helps your baby breastfeed
  • Lowers parents’ stress and helps them bond with their newborn
  • Helps nursing mothers produce breast milk and know when the baby is ready to nurse

Skin-to-skin care for babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a time for the newborn to be placed on the skin of a parent, generally the chest, to help with bonding and temperature control. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.