Advertisement

What are the benefits of holding my baby skin-to-skin?

Mothers have probably always held their babies skin-to-skin. It’s a wonderful way to be close. Studies have shown that skin-to-skin care also has important health benefits for babies, especially when it’s given right after birth. For example, skin-to-skin care:

      • calms and soothes your baby
      • helps your baby maintain a healthy body temperature (it’s better
        than an incubator)
      • helps regulate your baby’s heart rate, blood sugar, and breathing
      • improves your baby’s sleep
      • helps your baby breastfeed

Skin-to-skin care is good for you, too. It can lower stress and help you bond and connect with your newborn. It can also improve your ability to make breast milk and to know when your baby is ready to nurse.
Even as newborns, babies have an extraordinary ability to respond to you. A newly born baby placed skin-to-skin on your chest feels the familiar and comforting rhythm of your heartbeat. Your baby will also recognize and respond to the familiar and soothing sound of your voice.

Research tells us that putting a baby skin-to-skin provides the best possible temperature regulation for a newborn. Babies who get cold can have problems with breathing, feeding and maintaining proper blood sugar levels. Research also shows us that babies who spend the first 90 minutes with their mothers skin-to-skin cry less than those who are dried, wrapped and placed in a bassinet. This intimate contact also helps babies breastfeed.
The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Nor does the contents of this website constitute the establishment of a physician patient or therapeutic relationship. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Skin-to-skin contact is very important for mother and baby at the time of delivery, whether it was vaginal or by Cesarean section. Watch doctors from West Kendall Baptist Hospital explain the benefits of keeping parents close to the baby after birth.

Continue Learning about Healthy Baby

Should I Let My Baby ‘Cry It Out’?
Should I Let My Baby ‘Cry It Out’?
For most new parents, sleep deprivation is a rite of passage. At times it may seem like your newborn isn’t sleeping at all. In reality, many babies ac...
Read More
What is skin-to-skin holding?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
Skin-to-skin holding is a term used for placing an infant wearing only a diaper against the mother's...
More Answers
10 Worst Things to Say to a New Parent
10 Worst Things to Say to a New Parent10 Worst Things to Say to a New Parent10 Worst Things to Say to a New Parent10 Worst Things to Say to a New Parent
We’re sure you mean well—but these gems are best left unsaid.
Start Slideshow
How Should I Answer Criticism About the Choices I Make In Raising My Baby?
How Should I Answer Criticism About the Choices I Make In Raising My Baby?

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.